The Swiss subsidiary of Gazprombank—the banking arm of Russian state-owned energy firm Gazprom—has received regulatory approval to offer crypto services in Switzerland.
According to an Oct. 29 announcement, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) authorized Gazprombank to provide cryptocurrency custody and exchange services to corporate and institutional customers.
The bank’s CEO, Roman Abdulin, said that the firm has high hopes for the adoption of crypto assets. Saying Gazprombank is “committed to continuous financial innovation” he added that it strives to “offer our clients advanced banking services. ”
Calling the FINMA approval “a very important milestone for Gazprombank,” Abdulin added:
“We expect digital assets to become increasingly important in the global economy and, in particular, for our current and potential clientele.
Gazprombank will offer institutional-grade crypto asset custody solutions as well as facilitate the exchange of top cryptocurrency Bitcoin (BTC). Furthermore, Abdulin said it planned to offer more products and services to its clients, including support for more cryptos.
Still—according to the announcement—all of those services will only be offered to “a limited number of selected clients” that have gone through “a stringent evaluation process.”
As for custody, Gazprombank said its “clients get access to cryptocurrency liquidity, while the safekeeping of the cryptocurrencies is taken care of by a Swiss regulated bank.”
Crypto services at regulated banks: a new trend
This announcement fits a new trend that sees the creation of crypto asset service providers that are regulated banks increasingly often. As Modern Consensus reported in mid-September, major cryptocurrency exchange Kraken obtained a bank charter approval in the state of Wyoming, becoming a special-purpose depository institution.
On Tuesday Singapore’s top lender, DBS bank, accidentally leaked plans to create DBS Digital Exchange that would allow companies and investors to “leverage an integrated ecosystem of solutions to tap the vast potential of private markets and digital currencies.”
DBS plans to allow its users to trade Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Ripple (XRP) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) against four fiat currencies—the Singapore dollar, United States dollar, Hong Kong dollar and Japanese yen—according to an accidently (and briefly) posted webpage.