Swiss bank St.Galler Kantonalbank (SGKB) has launched Bitcoin and Ether trading with plans to add more cryptocurrencies in the future based on client feedback. The cryptocurrency service is made possible by a partnership with crypto-focused bank SEBA and comes after a brief testing period earlier this year. Launched on November 1, the service is currently available to a select group of clients.
The service is St.Galler Kantonalbank’s (SGKB) first foray into the digital assets sphere and is designed to enable the bank’s clients to add cryptocurrencies to their portfolios.
“We are pleased to offer a select client base access to digital assets and the digital economy,” SGKB head of market services Falk Kohlmann said, adding:
“Thanks to our cooperation with SEBA Bank, 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 clients’ digital assets are protected by the custody of a professional and certified provider with extensive experience in this field.”
SEBA Bank’s Head of Investment Solutions Christian Bieri explained that the service will initially be available to SGKB’s wealth-management clients with retail clients soon to be allowed access. In addition to more cryptocurrencies, the bank also plans to add staking services down the road.
“It’s the first bank with a clear retail focus that we have onboarded and an example of the development we are seeing in Switzerland,” Bieri said of the partnership. “This started some years before with wealth management and private banking, and now we see a lot of interest as well from retail banks.”
Founded in 1868, St.Galler Kantonalbank is one of Switzerland’s largest banks – ranked fifth – and offers retail and commercial banking in addition to private and institutional banking. By the end of 2022, the institution was reported to have about 53.6 billion Swiss francs ($58.9 million) in assets under management.
The Swiss banking industry has been incredibly receptive to crypto with many local banks adding cryptocurrency services to their offerings. Last month Zuger Kantonalbank partnered with business-to-business crypto specialist Sygnum to launch a mobile-based crypto service that allows the bank’s client to invest in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, and MATIC.
In September, licensed Swiss bank Dukascopy Bank rolled out its crypto-enabled services including marginal trading and online retail banking accounts. The bank’s Chief Brokerage Officer told Cointelegraph that “offering crypto-related services through a regulated bank adds substantial value to the cryptocurrency industry as a whole.”
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