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By Jemima Kelly LONDON (Reuters) - Swiss bank UBS is leading a team of four of the world's biggest banks developing a system to enable financial markets to make payments and settle transactions quickly using blockchain technology. UBS has developed a "Utility Settlement Coin" (USC), which is a digital cash equivalent of each of the major currencies backed by central banks, such as the dollar or euro, rather than a decentralized new digital currency such as bitcoin. The USC would be convertible at parity with a bank deposit in the corresponding currency, making it fully backed by cash assets at a central bank.
The number of mortgages approved by British banks in July fell to its lowest in a year, but robust credit growth added to signs the Brexit vote has had little impact on consumers so far, industry data showed on Wednesday. British banks approved 37,662 mortgages for house purchases last month, down from 39,763 in June and 19 percent lower than in July 2015, the British Bankers' Association said. Net credit card lending rose in July by 291 million pounds after a 283 million pound increase in June, a 20 percent increase on the same time a year ago.