- Swiss crypto bank SEBA has received in-principle approval from Hong Kong’s regulator to undertake licensed crypto services.
- There’s a demand for derivatives from crypto companies that are looking to hedge their positions, SEBA said.
- The bank plans to obtain a license in Singapore next.
SEBA Bank, a Swiss crypto-centered bank, has received in-principle approval from Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) to undertake licensed crypto-related services. SEBA Bank is backed by Julius Baer Group, a private banking corporation based in Switzerland.
SEBA Bank offers services for managing, investing in, and storing crypto and NFTs. After full approval, SEBA Hong Kong will be able to engage in securities dealing, including crypto-related products. Furthermore, the bank would be able to provide advice on securities and crypto, as well as conduct asset management for virtual assets.
Besides SEBA, Hong Kong has approved several companies that provide crypto-related services. HasKey and OSL, both crypto exchange platforms, received licenses from Hong Kong’s SFC for retail services.
The bank shared that there’s a demand for derivatives from crypto companies that are looking to protect their investments. Amy Yu, Asia Pacific Chief Executive Officer at SEBA Bank, stated that there’s a lot of demand for structured products in the region. She added that the bank expects full approvals by the end of 2023.
The Hong Kong Monetary Authority hasn’t had much success, despite its attempts to encourage local lenders to bank crypto companies. Yu shared her opinion and said, “Crypto firms are generally not as connected with traditional financial market providers; we are comfortable interacting with these kinds of clients.”
The Swiss-based bank received a license in two markets before getting in-principle approval from Hong Kong. The bank is licensed in Switzerland and Abu Dhabi. Franz Bergmueller, CEO of SEBA Bank, said, “Complementing SEBA Group’s established licenses in Switzerland (FINMA) and Abu Dhabi (FSRA), the Hong Kong AIP significantly extends our global regulatory footprint.”
The bank is aiming to get licensed in Singapore as well. Yu said, “We did concentrate on Hong Kong to start; it is the first jurisdiction in the region, but we are still exploring Singapore.”