BBVA Switzerland launches Bitcoin trading service for private banking clients
Spanish banking giant BBVA has launched a cryptocurrency trading and custody service for its private banking clients in Switzerland.
The new service was made available to Swiss clients on Monday and currently only includes Bitcoin trading and custody services, with the aim of extending it to other cryptocurrencies in the future.
BBVA says it is limiting this new crypto service to Switzerland because it has “an ecosystem where there is clear regulation and widespread adoption of these digital assets”.
Its extension to more countries and customers will be dependent on demand and regulation.
“We are bringing the quality of banking service to the fledgling world of crypto assets,” says Alfonso Gómez, CEO of BBVA Switzerland.
“With this innovative offer, BBVA positions itself as a benchmark institution in the adoption of blockchain technology.
“Over the coming months, we will continue to enhance and expand the digital asset offering.”
BBVA Switzerland’s new platform will be fully integrated in its app, where crypto investments can be viewed alongside the rest of the customer’s funds and assets.
With crypto-assets being stored in a digital wallet on the platform, the bank claims it will offer the “highest security standards available in the market” having spent six months trialling the service before launch.
“This gradual roll-out has allowed BBVA Switzerland to test the service’s operations, strengthen security and, above all, detect that there is a significant desire among investors for crypto-assets or digital assets as a way of diversifying their portfolios, despite their volatility and high risk,” explains Gómez.
The news follows Standard Chartered’s recent announcement that it plans to establish a UK-based cryptocurrency brokerage and exchange for institutional and corporate clients in the UK and Europe.
By contrast, HSBC chief executive Noel Quinn revealed last month his bank has no plans to launch a cryptocurrency trading desk or offer digital coins as an investment to customers because they are too volatile and lack transparency.