NatWest, a UK-based retail and commercial bank, has started testing with quantum computing power to solve complex calculations.

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Image: NatWest has begun testing with quantum computing power to solve complex calculations. Photo: courtesy of Royal Bank of Scotland.

Via quantum computing power, the technology team from the bank has completed a highly complex calculation, which requires to be undertaken regularly by the bank.

According to the bank, the computing power helped to solve complex calculation with 300 times more speed than traditional computer and offered higher degree of accuracy.

Under Quantum-inspired approach, the quantum algorithms are used to solve a problem and qubits are not actually used in the process.

The experiment, which is successful, is currently being implemented by the bank. The quantum-inspired computing power will help portfolio managers to take decision on the right composition of the bank’s £120bn high quality liquid assets (HQLAs) portfolio.

HQLAs are assets such as cash and bonds, which required to be hold as a buffer by every UK bank, if it slips into financial trouble.

The quantum computing power is expected to help NatWest to change multiple processes, and will support portfolio managers to accommodate the allocation of assets following a surprise movement in the market,

The Fujitsu’s quantum-inspired Digital Annealer is the hardware used in testing, while 1QBit provided the quantum software. NatWest is an investor and board observer.

Quantum technology will also be used to enhance the bank’s other portfolios and can optimize areas such as anomaly detection, supercharged AI and software verification.

Under anomaly detection, the quantum-powered unsupervised machine learning will be used to detect fraud and spot money laundering with enhanced speed and scale.

As part of supercharged AI, the quantum power will help reduce the training time and improve optimisation of outcomes.

Under software verification, the quantum technology will help verify and validate its IT systems rapidly and cheaply, as well as reduce the risk of outages.

NatWest innovation director Kevin Hanley said: “We’re really excited about the possibilities that quantum computing presents us with. Given our first application of quantum computing power has been so successful we think the technology could be applied to many other calculations and problems the bank faces on a daily basis.”