Santander Private Banking International has recently announced its foray into the crypto market. Catering to its affluent clients in Switzerland, the bank now provides services for trading and investing in leading digital currencies, specifically Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH).
This development marks a pivotal shift in the bank’s approach to digital assets, aligning with the growing demand for digital currency services among institutional and private investors.
Expanding Cryptocurrency Services
The decision by Santander, a renowned financial institution with over 160 years of history and a vast customer base of 166 million, signifies a broader acceptance of digital currencies in mainstream banking.
The report disclosed Santander has planned to gradually expand its crypto offerings over the coming months, adding more digital assets that meet its “stringent” screening standard.
The bank emphasizes that these digital currency services will be available exclusively at clients’ request and facilitated through their designated relationship managers.
To security and compliance, Santander also claims to ensure that the digital assets are held in a “regulated custody model.” This model involves the secure storage of “private cryptographic keys,” essential for accessing and managing these digital currencies.
John Whelan, Head of Crypto and Digital Assets at Santander, highlighted the progressive nature of Swiss regulations related to digital assets. Whelan added:
As holding of crypto as an alternative asset class continues to expand, we expect that our clients prefer to rely on their existing financial institutions to be responsible for their assets.
Global Banking Institutions Embracing Crypto?
Santander’s venture into digital currency services is a growing trend among leading global banks. Commerzbank AG, a prominent full-service bank in Germany, recently received a crypto asset custody license, marking a significant step in the German banking sector under the German Banking Act.
Commerzbank’s acquisition of this license allows it to offer a wide range of digital asset services, focusing on cryptocurrencies. This decision positions Commerzbank to cater to the rising interest in digital currencies among its client base.
Jörg Oliveri del Castillo-Schulz, Chief Operating Officer of Commerzbank, expressed the bank’s commitment to leveraging the latest technologies and innovations. Castillo-Schulz stated:
Now that we have been granted the license, we have achieved an important milestone. This highlights our ongoing commitment to applying the latest technologies and innovations, and it forms the foundation for supporting our customers in the areas of digital assets.
Furthermore, these developments across major financial institutions indicate a notable shift in the traditional banking sector’s approach to digital currencies.
As digital assets continue to gain mainstream acceptance, banks such as Santander and Commerzbank appear strategically positioning themselves to provide digital currency services, reflecting the evolving landscape of global finance.
Featured image from Unsplash, Chart from TradingView