Arab Bank Switzerland, a subsidiary of Jordan-based Arab Bank, has joined forces with fintech company Taurus Group to provide its wealthy clients with exposure to Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Another Swiss bank now offering crypto services
Despite the high barrier of entry put in place by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), more and more Swiss-based lenders are catching Bitcoin fever with each passing day.
In the latest development, Arab Bank Switzerland, a Zug-based financial services firm that functions as a bridge between the Arab and Western world, has inked a strategic partnership with Taurus Group.
We are pleased to announce that TAURUS PROTECT, our cold storage solution for exchanges & banks is in production with Arab Bank Switzerland. A premiere for the Geneva financial center & leadership pos. of Taurus in the Swiss market.#taurus #coldstoragehttps://t.co/2lVGsNs6Df
— Taurus Group (@taurusgroup_ch) September 19, 2019
This partnership will enable the bank to offer cryptocurrency custodial and brokerage services to its wealthy clients.
Specifically, Arab Bank Switzerland has hinted that its alliance with Taurus Group will allow it to leverage the fintech firm’s digital assets storage infrastructure dubbed “Taurus Protect” to introduce a range of cryptoassets services, including custody and brokerage of the world’s flagship cryptocurrency, bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH).
While high-net-worth individuals in Switzerland have always been interested in adding cryptocurrencies to their portfolios, lenders in the region have been quite reluctant to offer crypto-related products or open their doors to bitcoin-based businesses.
However, it seems that the narrative is changing.
Speaking on the bank’s decision to step into the cryptocurrency arena, CEO Serge Robin stated that the company believes in the potential of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology and, as such, wants to occupy the frontline of this innovation.
“We firmly believe that blockchain technology will revolutionize the financial industry as we know it and we intend to be amongst the first banks to offer digital asset services to our clients in a secure and regulated environment.”
Switzerland fostering Bitcoin adoption
Unlike the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which has been cracking down on crypto-linked projects of late, the Swiss financial watchdog, FINMA, has taken a more liberal approach towards crypto market participants, making the region a hotbed for a vast array of startups including the Libra Association.
Earlier in 2017, Swiss private bank, Falcon Group partnered with Bitcoin Suisse to allow clients to buy and store bitcoin with fiat currency.
The bank launched its segregated Falcon wallets in January 2019 to enable both its private and institutional clients to easily convert crypto into fiat or transfer supported coins to and from the wallet.
In August 2019, two crypto-focused firms with heavy financial backing, SEBA Crypto AG and Sygnum AG, became the first of such projects to secure full banking and securities dealers’ licenses from FINMA.
A good number of financial institutions in the region, including Julius Baer and Marki Baumann have also hinted at offering more crypto-based financial products.