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Swiss financial regulator approves crypto license for two banks

FINMA has approved a license for crypto trading and custody for Maerki Baumann and Incore Bank

Switzerland’s Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) has recently allowed two banks to offer a number of cryptocurrency services.

Maerki Baumann and Incore Bank independently announced this news last Friday.

Zurich-based private bank Maerki Baumann, who have a dedicated crypto desk,  revealed that it had managed to procure a license from FINMA “to offer the trading and custody of cryptocurrencies as well as other digital assets (tokens).”

This new license allows Maerki Baumann to offer trading and custody of cryptocurrencies to its clients, starting this month.

“Maerki Baumann will initially offer trading in the principal cryptocurrencies, namely Bitcoin (BTC), bitcoin cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC) and Ripple (XRP).” the bank announced in a statement.

Aside from giving business bank accounts for crypto and blockchain companies, Maerki Baumann has also been supervising initial coin offerings (ICOs) and security token offerings (STO) for its clients. According to data obtained in December 2019, the bank had around 8.5 billion Swiss Francs (roughly $8.84 billion USD), 80% of which began in Switzerland and 10% in Germany.

Incore Bank, also based in Zurich, is a transaction bank that offers outsourcing services for financial institutions. This includes custody, payments, settlement, accounting, tax support and compliance. It has an extensive list of clients, including Maerki Baumann.

On Friday, Incore announced that the Swiss financial regulator had approved their request to “trade, gold, transfer, and generate (tokenize) digital assets.

“This makes Incore Bank the first Swiss business-to-business bank to offer financial service providers and institutions worldwide easy and secure access to a new and forward-looking asset class.” the bank said.

Recently, the bank created a Digital Services division to augment its capacity to provide a “full range of services from issuance, distribution, brokerage, and storage.”

“We guarantee full segregation of crypto client assets on individual wallets, whereby no additional capital requirement of the client bank is required.” Incore Head of Digital Services Daniel Blatter said.

This entity has also collaborated with several companies in the crypto sector, such as Crypto Finance. CEO Jan Brzezek expressed his positive sentiments over the bank’s decision to apply for a license.

“We are convinced it is only a matter of time before bitcoin is part of a bank’s standard product portfolio. Incore Bank took an early and consistent approach to this topic, and we were immediately able to implement our brokerage and custody infrastructure.”

Incore also revealed that it is working on expanding brokerage, custody, and transfer services to security tokens.

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