Arab Bank Switzerland Opens Bitcoin Custody, Brokerage Services

Arab Bank Switzerland has partnered with blockchain technology firm Taurus to offer Bitcoin  (BTC) and Ether (ETH) custody and brokerage services to its clients.

Swissinfo reported the development on Sept. 19. 

Serge Robin, the CEO of Arab Bank Switzerland — a Swiss institution that forms part of the Jordan-headquartered Arab Bank group — said: 

“We firmly believe that blockchain will disrupt the financial industry as we know it and we intend to be amongst the first banks to offer digital asset services to our clients in a secure and regulated environment.” 

Switzerland’s blockchain and banking sectors

Last month, Switzerland’s watchdog, the Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), granted banking and securities dealer licenses to two crypto-focused banks: Seba Crypto AG and Sygnum.

Also in August, FINMA released new guidance on regulatory requirements for blockchain-based payments, targeted at cryptocurrency exchanges, wallet providers and trading platforms.

Among the country’s traditional financial institutions, Swiss private bank Maerki Baumann revealed this summer that it had experienced a deluge of 400 new clients wanting to tap its future blockchain offerings since it revealed its interest in the sector.

While banking support for the nascent industry remains a complex issue in the country — with many legacy institutions maintaining a highly risk-averse position on FINMA’s recommendation — Hypothekarbank Lenzburg took the leap to become the first Swiss bank to provide enterprise accounts for blockchain and crypto-related fintech companies in the summer of 2018.