The Swiss bank has been building an international strategy, and now operates from the Middle East, Asia, and its home country.
SEBA Hong Kong won the licence from the Securities and Futures Commission in Hong Kong, giving the bank its first regulated footprint in Asia-Pacific.
Having been granted the licence, SEBA Hong Kong can now deal in and distribute all securities, including virtual assets-related products, such as over-the-counter derivatives and structured products with underlying virtual assets, advise on securities and virtual assets, and conduct asset management for discretionary accounts in both traditional securities and virtual assets.
Institutional and professional investors, including corporate treasuries, funds, family offices and high net worth individuals, can start to use SEBA Hong Kong’s licensed services immediately.
“Hong Kong has been at the centre of the crypto economy since bitcoin’s inception, and we are very pleased to have added this Hong Kong licence with the full approval from the SFC to our existing licences in Switzerland (FINMA) and Abu Dhabi (FSRA),” Franz Bergmueller, group CEO, SEBA Bank, said. “This regulatory clarity not only benefits our business but also supplements Hong Kong’s status as a global financial services hub, home to a multitude of market leaders in banking, asset management, and capital markets.”
The firm operates from its regulated hubs in Switzerland, Abu Dhabi and Hong Kong.
The intersection of wealth management, private banking and digital assets continues to evolve. A 2021 Goldman Sachs survey found that nearly half the family offices it conducts business with want to add digital currencies to their stable of investments, with the closely held firms seeing crypto as a possible hedge for higher inflation and prolonged low interest rates. Almost half of respondents to that Goldman Sachs report said that they were thinking of moving into digital assets such as bitcoin, although most are not currently in this space. Their main reason for caution is that they are sceptical about whether cryptocurrencies are a store of value.
(Goldman Sachs polled more than 150 family offices.) Major institutions, including JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Julius Baer, Guggenheim Partners, and others, are involved. SC Ventures, Standard Chartered’s innovation and ventures unit, partnered with Northern Trust to launch Zodia, a cryptocurrency custodian for institutional investors.