April 16, 2024

Swiss crypto bank SEBA gets Hong Kong SFC license

SEBA Bank began its quest for Hong Kong expansion in late 2022, setting up an office in November, with the firm obtaining an in-principle approval to offer virtual asset trading services by August 2023.

Switzerland-based crypto bank SEBA Bank has become the latest crypto-centered firm to obtain a license from the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC).

SEBA’s Hong Kong subsidiary, SEBA Hong Kong, received the regulatory nod to offer a range of crypto-related services in the region. According to the data available on the SFC website, SEBA received the license on Nov. 3.

SEBA Bank SFC license details. Source: SFC

The license makes way for SEBA in dealing and distribution of all securities, including digital assets-related products such as over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives. The license marks SEBA’s first footprint in the Asia Pacific region.

SEBA first launched an office in Hong Kong in November 2022, focusing on expanding its services in the region, and the bank received an in-principle approval from SFC to offer virtual asset trading services in August 2023. Outside of Switzerland, SEBA is also active in Abu Dhabi.

The SFC license will also allow SEBA to offer advice on securities and digital assets and conduct asset management for discretionary accounts in traditional and digital assets. The license will also allow the Swiss firm to offer its services to Institutional and professional investors, including corporate treasuries, funds, family offices and high-net-worth individuals.

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In an official statement, Franz Bergmueller, the CEO of SEBA, said that Hong Kong has been at the center of the crypto economy since Bitcoin (BTC) was invented, and the bank is happy to become a part of the Hong Kong digital asset economy. He added:

“The region’s robust legal system provides a solid foundation to conduct crypto-related service. 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.“

In 2023, Hong Kong marked its presence in the global crypto economy by setting up favorable regulations for crypto companies to flourish. The city has set up a rigorous license regime, making way for only a selected few platforms to offer its services to both international and retail customers. Out of nearly 100 firms that showed interest in opening branches in Hong Kong when the government announced licensing, only a handful managed to secure approval.

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