Hypothekarbank Lenzburg has become the first bank in Switzerland to provide business accounts to blockchain and cryptocurrency companies.
While Falcon Private Bank has provided crypto asset management services since last year, Hypothekarbank Lenzburg CEO Marianne Wildi confirmed that they are first bank in the country to open company accounts for blockchain and crypto-related fintech companies. Wildi said:
“As a bank that sets itself up technologically and pursues a cooperative strategy in the field of fintech, it is also a matter of credibility to work together with the young sector of crypto and blockchain companies in Switzerland”.
Wildi noted that she was aware of “the money laundering problem in the area of crypto companies and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs)”. The bank reportedly examined the relevant risk and compliance issues “very precisely,” in addition to informing the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) before deciding to cooperate with crypto startups.
According to Wildi, the Hypothekarbank Lenzburg is reportedly very selective in accepting new customers, and recently has taken on only two companies from the crypto industry. Before accepting a new client, the bank performs a rigorous due diligence process.
The Swiss canton of Zug has become a global hub for the cryptocurrency industry, taking on the monicker “Crypto Valley.” Despite the influx of crypto business, restrictive bank policies toward crypto companies forced firms to look abroad for banking services.
Bank Frick of Lichtenstein, for example, sees no compliance issues or risks to their reputation in doing business with Swiss crypto companies. In February, Bank Frick introduced direct crypto investment and cold storage services for Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ripple and Ethereum.
The Principality of Liechtenstein has become a major financial hub in Europe and aims to play a pivotal role in the fintech industry as well. In March, the government introduced comprehensive blockchain legislation, regulating blockchain business models and underlying blockchain systems.