Switzerland’s St.Galler Kantonalbank (SGKB), one of the largest banks in the country, is moving into cryptocurrency by introducing Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) trading to its customers.
SGKB has partnered with the global cryptocurrency-focused bank SEBA to offer its clients digital asset custody and brokerage services.
Announcing the news on Nov. 1, SGKB and SEBA said that the new crypto service is immediately available to select SGKB customers following a short period of testing earlier this year. Starting off with Bitcoin and Ether support, SGKB plans to expand its offerings to additional cryptocurrencies based on client demand.
Founded back in 1868, St.Galler Kantonalbank is a major Swiss regional bank, offering retail and commercial banking as well as private and institutional banking. SGKB is reportedly the fifth largest bank in Switzerland, managing a total of 53.6 billion Swiss francs ($58.9 million) by the end of 2022.
SGKB’s partnership with SEBA marks the bank’s first step into the digital asset industry, aiming to allow banking customers to seamlessly access cryptocurrencies within their investment portfolios.
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“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.”
SGKB’s crypto partner, SEBA, is a global Swiss-regulated bank for managing, investing, storing cryptocurrencies, nonfungible tokens and other assets. After receiving a banking license from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority in 2019, SEBA has been actively onboarding crypto services to major private and retail banks including LGT Bank Liechtenstein and Bank Julius Baer.
The Swiss crypto ecosystem has been rapidly evolving, with many local banks introducing cryptocurrency services. In September 2023, a licensed Swiss bank, Dukascopy Bank, officially launched its crypto-enabled services including marginal trading and online retail banking accounts.
“We believe that cryptocurrencies continue to play a significant role in today’s world,” Dukascopy Bank chief brokerage officer told Cointelergraph. “We are confident that offering crypto-related services through a regulated bank adds substantial value to the cryptocurrency industry as a whole,” the executive added.
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