Santander Private Banking International, a division of Banco Santander, is now offering its wealthy clients the opportunity to trade and invest in prominent cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ether, marking a significant shift in the bank’s approach to digital asset management.
Santander Private Banking International, an arm of Banco Santander, is now offering its high net worth clients the opportunity to trade and invest in major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH). This move, detailed in an internal announcement obtained by CoinDesk, represents a significant shift in the bank’s approach to digital assets.
Santander, a bank with a rich history spanning over 160 years and serving 166 million customers, will not stop at offering just BTC and ETH. Over the coming months, it plans to extend its cryptocurrency offerings, adhering to stringent screening criteria to ensure quality and security.
This development is particularly noteworthy given the cautious stance of most large banks towards cryptocurrencies. Traditionally, big financial institutions have shied away from open-access blockchains and their associated digital currencies, preferring to explore safer avenues like tokenization. Santander’s decision to embrace these digital assets marks a departure from the norm.
The service, according to Santander, will be available only upon client request and operated using relationship managers. The bank assures a regulated custody model, wherein private cryptographic keys are stored securely, addressing critical security concerns in the digital asset space.
John Whelan, the head of crypto and digital assets at Santander, emphasizes the progressive nature of Swiss regulation concerning digital assets, noting its clarity and comprehensive regulatory environment.
Whelan suggests that as the trend of holding crypto as an alternative asset class grows, clients are increasingly looking to rely on established financial institutions for asset management.
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