Falcon Group, a Swiss private bank with 50 years of expertise in wealth management, has become the first Swiss bank to offer blockchain asset management, including Bitcoin, to its clients.
Switzerland has always been cryptocurrency friendly and this new product takes that a step further. A new service has become available through Falcon Group’s cooperation with Bitcoin Suisse AG, a regulated crypto financial broker based in Switzerland. The bank has already received approval from FINMA (the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority) to launch this unique product.
Clients can exchange and hold Bitcoins via Falcon using their cash holdings. Moreover, Falcom Bank has installed a Bitcoin ATM in the lobby of the bank’s headquarters in Zurich which is accessible to the public during business hours.
Arthur Vayloyan, Global Head of Products & Services, Falcon Private Bank Ltd. commented:
“Following our strategic partnership with Move Digital, a best-in-class provider of digital asset management and investment advisory systems, this is a further tangible element of our new strategy. We are proud to be the first-mover in the Swiss private banking area to provide blockchain asset management for our clients. Falcon is convinced that the time is right to enter this nascent market and it is our firm belief that this new product will fulfil our clients’ future needs.”
He said the company began officially discussing bitcoin asset management in January, applied for regulator approval on June 23 and received it Tuesday. Falcon has 14.6 billion Swiss francs ($15.13 billion) in client assets and has offices in Zurich, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and London.
Switzerland is known for being a global leader in banking practices. The country is also one of the friendliest to digital currency enthusiasts. Its Zug region has already been dubbed “Crypto Valley” for the number of digital currency businesses located there.
In a phone interview the CEO of Bitcoin Suisse, Niklas Nikolajsen, said that contrary to many expectations, the Swiss regulator was more concerned about consumer protection than bitcoin’s potential use for illegal activities.
“I would assume it would not be long before the rest of the banking sector will follow suit…The genie is out of the bottle and crypto assets bring a value proposition that you can’t ignore.”
Swiss firm MME was the legal advisor and PricewaterhouseCoopers was the auditor in the approval process.