Swiss FINMA grants first digital asset custody license to SEBA bank

The Swiss Financial Market Authority, FINMA, has approved its first digital asset custody license, following an application from Swiss bank SEBA for its institutional-grade digital currency custody service.

The fully regulated Swiss bank will use the license to focus on providing a platform for institutions and non-native collective investment schemes to store digital currency and other digital assets.

Founded in 2018, the bank has emerged as a frontrunner in the digital assets banking space. In 2019, it secured a banking and securities license from the regulator over its wallet app, e-banking service, and payment card, which currently support a spread of five different digital currencies.

Guido Buehler, CEO of SEBA Bank, said the firm had gone from strength to strength over the past couple of years in cementing its place as one of the new generations of digital asset banks.

“Two years ago, SEBA Bank received a Swiss banking and securities firm license and is now enjoying excellent business momentum as institutional adoption of crypto & digital assets accelerates globally,” Buehler said.

The approval of local regulators has already served SEBA well, with Banque de France, France’s central bank, choosing SEBA to work on its proposals for a central bank digital currency, and specifically how a digital euro could be used in cross-border payments.

With the new license now secured, Buehler said the bank would continue to pioneer digital asset services across Europe for mutual funds and other institutional clients.

“With our new CISA license, SEBA Bank continues its pioneering role in the institutional digital asset space. Asset managers can now offer strategies based on crypto or other digital asset underlyings to a broader audience utilizing Swiss-based mutual fund structures secured by SEBA Bank as the CISA-licensed custodian,” Buehler further stated.

The license is the first of its kind to be approved by Switzerland’s FINMA since the scheme’s launch.

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