If you think that it is just financial institutions that are seeing the benefits of offering crypto products, guess again. According to Swiss-based private bank Maerki Baumann, 400 new clients signed on because of the bank’s focus on providing future blockchain and crypto offerings. This, according to a report provided by the financial institution.
While the bank has over $8 billion in assets, they still face numerous challenges as competition within the market has helped to erode the bank’s margins. This has led them to develop an offer blockchain initiatives, and customers are responding by opting to take their business to the financial institution.
According to the CEO of Maerki Baumann, Stephen Zwahlen, the bank is already reaping the benefits of their new focus. “In our traditional business, we usually have to run after each client. It’s hard work and rather rare for clients to just knock on our door. We suddenly had 400 people wanting to talk with us. And they were exactly the kind people we had been struggling to access for ten years with traditional private banking offerings.”
Zwahlen added that it is time that Swiss banks step up and offer opportunities for clients to be able to deal in these cryptocurrencies within the country. “It cannot be that innovative Swiss companies have to go to Liechtenstein for corporate banking services. Many of them represent a great opportunity to further develop our financial center.”
The first phase of their blockchain project began in March of this year. After being approved by the board, they began a program to entice startup firms looking to raise capital to be used in STOs. Not only were business accounts offered, but fundraising advice was part of the program as well.
By 2020, the bank hopes to develop partnerships with digital asset specialists that will support the trading services of cryptocurrency investors. This will then lead to the final phase of the bank’s plans, which will be to offer investment advice related to digital currencies for their private banking clients.
While it is clear that they intend to use blockchain technology as a focus of future endeavors, there is still some concern that cryptocurrencies may never be formally offered by the financial institution. Because of the price volatility and issues related to regulation and money laundering, it may become too prohibitive for Maerki Baumann to be able to offer services related to cryptocurrencies.
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