Cryptocurrency continues to be popular in Switzerland despite the unwillingess of local banks to do business with virtual currency firms. Two Swiss banks, however, have decided to break out of the norm and accept digital assets and crypto clients.
Falcon Private and Maerki Baumann Accepting Crypto Money
Two private banks located in Zurich, Switzerland, Falcon Private and Maerki Baumann have decided to bank with cryptocurrency clients. Falcon Private set the pace and Maerki followed soon after.
This decision is an unpopular one among financial institutions in Switzerland, as most of them have been known to shy away from the market. Most banks are reticent to do business with cryptocurrency firms due to the poor know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) protocols in the industry. Lack of banking support has forced many cryptocurrency firms to take their business to friendlier climes like Liechtenstein.
In a statement made by Maerki Baumann on its new move to support cryptos and the role it would be playing, he said:
“Maerki Baumann closely monitors the development of these investment vehicles and the underlying regulation without our commitment to engage in this area. This concerns investments in cryptocurrencies as well as the technologies required to trade and store these instruments. We currently see cryptocurrencies as alternative investment vehicles, but we have limited experience and data (prices, volatility, trading volumes) available in our house.”
The bank is still skeptical of crypto investments, even with the services it provides. The Zurich bank further said:
“In general, we currently advise against larger investments in cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies are not, in our estimation, suitable for long-term investment due to the uncertainties outlined above.”
Swiss Banks and the Cryptocurrency Market
Switzerland is one of the fastest-growing cryptocurrency hubs in the world. According to a statement made by a top Swiss policymaker:
“Switzerland’s fast-growing cryptocurrency industry could have full access to conventional banking services by the end of the year, removing one of the restrictions to future growth.”
In spite of this, most traditional banks have refused to budge on their stance against digital assets. These banks have refused to operate accounts for digital asset holders and start-ups because of anti-money laundering and difficulty in managing crypto clients. These new, companies mainly located around the Canton of Zug, have turned to friendlier places like Liechtenstein for banking services.
Earlier in the year, the Swiss economic minister, Johann Schneider-Ammann, said that Switzerland wishes to become a crypto-friendly nation. Many months later, banks are still finding it challenging to have banking relations with crypto customers. But Finance Director of Zug Canton Heinz Tännler is confident that obstacles and regulations placed on crypto assets to be removed in the coming months.
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