Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) — Spain’s second-largest bank — is set to offer Bitcoin (BTC) trading and custody services in Switzerland.
According to a release issued on Friday, BBVA Switzerland will begin Bitcoin trading for all private banking clients interested in crypto assets from June 21.
This initial crypto trading service isonly for Bitcoin but the bank says it has plans to extend its offering to other cryptocurrencies. However, BBVA says its crypto trading desk will not include any digital asset investment advisory services.
As part of the announcement, BBVA Switzerland revealed that the Bitcoin trading service will form part of the bank’s asset investment catalog for private banking clients. Thus, customers will be able to view the performance of their BTC positions alongside the rest of their portfolios.
According to the statement, this in-app integration will offer simplicity for customers in terms of streamlined data for statement of accounts and tax filing purposes among others. BBVA Switzerland also stated that customers will be able to convert between Bitcoin and fiat currencies automatically to prevent losses due to price volatility.
For BBVA Switzerland CEO Alfonso Gómez, the move represents a melding of quality banking services and innovations in the crypto asset space. “With this innovative offer, BBVA positions itself as a benchmark institution in the adoption of blockchain technology,” the CEO said.
Regarding its decision to first introduce the product in Switzerland, BBVA highlighted the country’s crypto-friendly policies as a major determining factor.
Indeed, some Swiss banks have previously announced crypto trading services for their clients. Back in February, Bordier & Cie, a 170-year-old Swiss financial institution partnered with digital bank Sygnum to offer cryptocurrency trading for assets like Bitcoin, Ether (ETH), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) among others.
As previously reported by Cointelegraph, Swiss banking giant UBS announced plans to offer limited exposure to crypto investment for some of its wealthy clients.
Back in September 2020, authorities in the country formalized a comprehensive set of laws for crypto and blockchain. Phase one of the new legal framework came into effect at the start of February with part two expected to follow in the summer.