The family-owned Swiss bank Maerki Baumann expands its cryptocurrency services and launches digital asset trading and custody services for institutional and private clients.
The trading and custody of digital assets will be available for Maerki Baumann’s institutional customers from June 2020. As the bank stated in its official announcement, the launch marks the next phase of its crypto strategy. The Zurich-based private bank has been offering business accounts for blockchain companies since last year, as well as accompanying initial coin offerings (ICOs) and security token offerings (STOs).
Maerki Baumann has become Switzerland’s second private bank following the Falcon Private Bank, which started accepting customers’ cryptocurrency assets back in 2018.
As the bank states, the launch marks a milestone in development of private banking services and allows “building a bridge between traditional private banking and the crypto world.” According to its CEO Dr. Stephan A. Zwahlen:
With the trading and safekeeping of digital assets, we are not only opening up a new business area, we are also creating additional investment prospects in our core business.
The bank has recently got permission from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), which allows it to offer digital asset trading and custody services. Reportedly, the financial institution will be partnering with digital asset brokers and cryptocurrency exchanges to carry out trading orders for its institutional and private investors.
As it is said, the financial institution will be processing trading orders to brokers and cryptocurrency exchanges via it’s partners like transaction bank InCore Bank AG. As the announcement states:
This ensures that transactions are carried out quickly and with a narrow trading range between the buy and sell price (spread).
Reportedly the new service will start with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Ripple (XRP). The Swiss bank reported being expanding the list of tradable cryptocurrencies and tokens in the near future.
Financial institutions show interest
Although cryptocurrency has the potential to disrupt the traditional financial institutions, their interest in virtual currencies is growing.
Since the Fifth Anti Money laundering Directive (AMLD5) came into force in European countries this year, financial institutions have got the ability to add cryptocurrencies to traditional securities such as stocks and bonds. This led over 40 German banks and financial institutions to address the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) for the license of managing digital assets.
Moreover, crypto fund managers like Grayscale Investment have been showing a special interest in Bitcoin as well. As DailyCoin reported previously, the American digital asset manager has purchased up to one-third of all newly minted Bitcoins since the day, when the leading crypto coin cut its block reward in half.