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First Swiss Bank Open for Business to Crypto Companies

Hypothekarbank Lenzburg has become the first Swiss bank in the alpine country to provide business accounts to blockchain and cryptocurrency companies, Cointelegraph reported June 6.

Another financial institution, Zurich’s Falcon Private Bank, had offered crypto asset management services to its clients since last year, but Hypothekarbank has become the first to open company in the fintech sphere. The bank’s CEO Marianne Wildi 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.”

Wildi said that she was fully aware, along with many global banking instructions, of money laundering issues, but confirmed that the bank had examined all relevant risks going in and also informed the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) before working with startups in the crypto space. In fact, she iterated that the bank had a very selective process of accepting new clients and has only accepted two crypto companies thus far.

In recent years, Swiss banks have been reluctant to have anything to do with cryptocurrency firms. Despite Switzerland’s tradition of banking secrecy which dates back to the Middle Ages, a new banking “secrecy”, distributed ledger technology (DLT), has been of little interest to major banking players in the Alpine country.

Some smaller banks have introduced cryptocurrency asset management schemes over the past few years but the larger banks remain skeptical. Outside of the banking sector, cryptocurrency adoption remains buoyant.

As Bitcoin News has reported, the Swiss canton of Zug has become a global hub for the cryptocurrency industry. Lately, 200 blockchain companies have joined the incumbents in Zug, now being tagged as ‘Crypto Valley’, so named after the association set up there in 2013 to attract start-ups to cryptocurrency. Since 2016, the town has even been accepting Bitcoin payments for social services. and was the first town to install crypto ATMs.

Lichtenstein’s Bank Frink, sees no risk to their reputation doing crypto business with Swiss banks. The country, like Switzerland itself, is slowly becoming another talked about European crypto hub. Earlier this year its government introduced further comprehensive blockchain regulation.

 

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