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Bordier Raises Digital Assets Game

Tom Burroughes, Group Editor , 2 March 2021

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The move by a number of Swiss private banks into the cryptocurrency space, easing the ability of clients to obtain exposure to this red-hot area, is significant and suggests how this field is moving out of the margins.

Swiss bank Bordier & Cie announced yesterday that clients can buy, hold and trade cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin over Sygnum’s business-to-business banking platform which the bank has worked with, showing how traditional lenders are pushing into the space.

This partnership enables Bordier’s execution-only clients to play in the digital assets sector. The move comes at a time when bitcoin prices, for example, have been strong – although off their recent highs yesterday. (As of Monday afternoon in London, bitcoin fetched more than $48,400. Source: Coinbase.) Figures in the wealth management sector say that digital assets are becoming more mainstream. (We are hosting virtual webinars on the issues here and here.) 

Geneva-based Bordier has integrated Sygnum’s B2B banking platform, allowing Bordier clients to trade bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Tezos. The offering will be extended as clients become more at ease with the simplicity of the new service.

“We have seen increasing demand from our clients to diversify into alternative asset classes such as digital assets. By partnering with Sygnum Bank, we are providing our clients with a one-stop, integrated solution while empowering them to invest in this new, high growth asset class with complete trust,” Evrard Bordier, Bordier & Cie’s managing partner, said. 

Sygnum covers technical infrastructure and compliance as a service, research and sales education as well as access to a range of digital asset products. 

In this partnership, Sygnum provided digital asset specialist expertise and a B2B banking platform which includes safekeeping of private keys, selection of and connectivity to liquidity providers, digital asset AML and transaction monitoring. 

Bordier isn’t the only Swiss banking firm playing in the digital assets space. In January 2020, Julius Baer launched a digital assets trading and storage service through a partnership with FINMA-licensed Seba Bank. Seba Bank was founded in April 2018 by former UBS bankers. In early 2019 Vontobel brought out its Digital Asset Vault, enabling clients to buy, hold and transfer such assets within the bank infrastructure.

Separately, read this article about Bordier's move into Vietnam's wealth management market.

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