In plenty of countries we’ve seen banking institutions target the cryptocurrency market. From traders to businesses, in places like Chile banks have sought to close the accounts of anyone that’s actively using, trading, or investing in cryptocurrency. Marking new ground, a leading Swiss bank has announced that it will provide business accounts to select crypto and blockchain companies moving forward.
Hypothekarbank Lenzburg Takes a Leap Forward
Hypothekarbank Lenzburg is hoping to draw further business from the growing cryptocurrency sector with this latest move. Technically, Falcon Private Bank has provided crypto asset management services since last year. But, Hypothekarbank Lenzburg is the first bank to allow accounts for blockchain and crypto-related fintech firms. Speaking on the decision, Marianne Wildi (Hypothekarbank Lenzburg CEO) said, “As a bank that sets itself up technologically and pursues a cooperative strategy in the field of fintech, it is also a matter of credibility to work together with the young sector of crypto and blockchain companies in Switzerland”.
Hypothekarbank Lenzburg is taking a bold step in welcoming cryptocurrency and blockchain businesses, but the bank understands that it isn’t a move without risk. Wildi said that she is aware of “the money laundering problem in the area of crypto companies and ICOs.” The bank has taken an in-depth look at risk and compliance issues in order to understand the implications. Additionally, it will be relaying information to the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) before deciding to cooperate with crypto startups – thus attempting to tighten up security measures.
Slowly but Surely
Wildi has reiterated that client selection is pivotal, as Hypothekarbank Lenzburg will be selective with regards to new customers. At time of writing, just two crypto companies have been awarded accounts, as the bank is implementing a strict due diligence process. Not taking security lightly, it’s clear that Hypothekarbank Lenzburg is taking small steps in welcoming cryptocurrency firms, rather than moving straight ahead with a full rollout.
Zug might be a small town in Switzerland, but it’s becoming a major force in the crypto sphere. Awarded the nickname “Crypto Valley”, it’s become a hub for emerging cryptocurrency projects. The problem is that while Zug as a region has been accommodating, the same can’t be said for the banking system in Switzerland. Despite the massive influx of crypto-related businesses, restrictive practices have forced companies to look outside of Switzerland for banking services.
Learning from Liechtenstein
Not that it’s a case of having to go far for most companies. Lichtenstein’s Bank Frick of has reportedly had no issues when dealing with Swiss cryptocurrency companies, nor has it harmed the bank’s reputation. Building on early momentum, the bank has even introduced cold storage services and direct crypto investment for Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and Bitcoin Cash users.
Lichtenstein might only be a principality, but it carries huge weight as a leading European financial hub. Not content on being a premier banking destination for Europe’s wealthiest, it has intentions on being a pivotal name in the fintech domain. With the government introducing new blockchain legislation, Lichtenstein is stepping out as one of the most cryptocurrency friendly nations in the world.
From A to Zug!
When you think of Zug, you think of an emerging cryptocurrency hub. Lichtenstein provides the most user-friendly setup for cryptocurrency businesses at this point, but Switzerland’s progress with regards to banking practices means that it’s not far behind.