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Swiss Bank Partners With SEBA For Bitcoin And Ether Trading

Switzerland’s fifth largest regional bank, St.Galler Kantonalbank (SGKB), in partnership with SEBA Bank, offers custody and trading services for Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH).

Elyse Woods
Feb 04, 2024507 Shares25346 Views
Switzerland’s fifth largest regional bank, St.Galler Kantonalbank (SGKB), in partnership with SEBA Bank, offers custody and trading services for Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH).
On November 1 2023, experts at Bitcoin Apexannounced that SGKB had partnered with the global crypto-focused SEBA Bank to offer its customers digital asset custody and brokerage services. SGKB and SEBA revealed that the new crypto service is immediately available to select SGKB clients following a short period of testing at the beginning of 2023.


According to the announcement, SGKB plans to start with BTC and Ether support to expand its offerings to additional crypto based on client demand. Head B2B and Custody Solutions at SEBA Bank, Christian Bieri, said, “We are very pleased to be able to support St.Galler Kantonalbank with our expertise in expanding their services around digital assets”. Bieri added, “St.Galler Kantonalbank and SEBA signed the contract earlier this year; after a short implementation project, SGKB is now ready to offer access to cryptocurrencies to a selected group of clients, in a first step Bitcoin and Ether; other currencies will follow shortly”. This move by SGKB marks its first step into the digital asset space, driven by growing client interest in cryptocurrencies, as the bank sees the move as a way to meet the client’s evolving financial preferences.

Existing Investment Portfolios

St.Galler Kantonalbank is a major Swiss regional bank founded in 1868, offering retail and commercial banking as well as private and institutional banking. According to reports, SGKB had 53.6 billion Swiss francs ($58.9 billion) in assets under management at the end of 2022. SGKB’s partnership with SEBA will help clients integrate cryptocurrencies into their investment portfolios. Head of Market Services at SGKB, Falk Kohlmann, said, “We are pleased to offer a select client base access to digital assets and the digital economy”.
Kohlmann added, “Thanks to our cooperation with SEBA, we’ve implemented a straightforward initial setup, which allows us to learn and grow well aligned to our clients’ needs. We are confident that our client’s digital assets are protected by the custody of a professional and certified provider with extensive experience in this field”. SGKB is one of 24 Swiss regional banks, which are commercial institutions partially owned by the federal government of Switzerland.
SGKB’s crypto partner, SEBA, is a global Swiss-regulated bank managing, investing and storing cryptos, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and other assets. In 2019, SEBA received a banking licence from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) and has been actively onboarding crypto services to significant private and retail banks, including LGT Bank Liechtenstein and Bank Julius Baer. On May 2 2022, LGT Bank opened BTC and ETH trading with SEBA. Chief Marketing Officer from SEBA, Sandra Frank, said, “LGT Bank has been offering direct investments in Bitcoin and Ether since May. The private bank has partnered with SEBA Bank, which will act as broker and custodian to provide this service”. The announcement also highlighted that LGT’s crypto services will be fully integrated with traditional assets so clients can easily exchange assets in their existing portfolios.
CEO of Liechtenstein’s LGT Bank, Roland Matt, said, “The demand for cryptocurrencies has also increased among our clients in recent years. When developing our new offering, we paid particular attention to security while focusing on clear, reliable processes and procedures. They are central to dealing with this dynamic and still quite young asset class”. This move aligns with the firm’s commitment to meet the increasing demand for investment opportunities. On February 26 2019, Julius Baer announced its plansto provide clients access to digital asset services after partnering with SEBA Crypto. Head of Markets at Julius Baer, Peter Gerlach, said, “At Julius Baer, we are convinced that digital assets will become a legitimate sustainable asset class of an investor's portfolio”. The announcement revealed that the partnership will become effective when the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority grants SEBA a securities dealer and banking licence.
Switzerland’s crypto ecosystem has rapidly evolved, with many local banks introducing crypto services. On February 10 2020, FINMA announced a plan to bring stricter anti-money laundering (AML) rules for crypto transactions in Switzerland. FINMA emphasised that the new limit was considered due to heightened money laundering risks in the crypto space. According to the proposal, crypto transactions over 1,000 Swiss francs ($1,025) will require client identification instead of the current limit of 5,000 Frans ($5,120). In September 2023, Dukascopy Bank, a licensed Swiss bank, officially launched its crypto-enabled services, including marginal trading and online retail banking accounts.
The move by Switzerland’s St.Galler Kantonalbank to partner with SEBA to launch Bitcoin and Ether trading to its customers shows how determined the bank is to evolve with time and ensure that it covers the client’s preferences. This partnership reflects a broader trend in Switzerland, with many local banks expanding their service portfolio to introduce cryptocurrency offerings.
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