Switzerland’s St.Galler Kantonalbank (SGKB) has made a significant move into the cryptocurrency industry by offering Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) trading services to its customers. In collaboration with SEBA, a global cryptocurrency-focused bank, SGKB will provide digital asset custody and brokerage services.
The announcement, made on November 1st, stated that the new crypto service is now available to select SGKB customers, following a brief testing period earlier this year. Starting with support for Bitcoin and Ether, SGKB has plans to expand its offerings to include additional cryptocurrencies based on client demand.
Established in 1868, St.Galler Kantonalbank is a prominent Swiss regional bank that offers a range of banking services, from retail and commercial banking to private and institutional banking. With a reported total asset management of 53.6 billion Swiss francs ($58.9 million) by the end of 2022, SGKB is recognized as the fifth largest bank in Switzerland.
The partnership with SEBA represents SGKB’s first foray into the digital asset industry, with the aim of allowing banking customers to easily access cryptocurrencies within their investment portfolios.
Falk Kohlmann, SGKB’s head of market services, expressed his satisfaction with the collaboration, stating, “We are pleased to offer a select client base access to digital assets and the digital economy.” Kohlmann further highlighted the importance of the cooperation with SEBA, stating that it allows for a smooth initial setup, aligned with the needs of their clients. Additionally, he emphasized that SGKB is confident in the custody of its clients’ digital assets, as they are protected by a professional and certified provider with extensive experience in the field.
SEBA, SGKB’s crypto partner, is a globally regulated Swiss bank that offers services for managing, investing, and storing cryptocurrencies, nonfungible tokens, and other assets. With a banking license from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority since 2019, SEBA has been actively onboarding crypto services to major private and retail banks, including LGT Bank Liechtenstein and Bank Julius Baer.
The Swiss crypto ecosystem has been rapidly evolving, with numerous local banks introducing cryptocurrency services. As an example, in September 2023, Dukascopy Bank, a licensed Swiss bank, launched its crypto-enabled services, providing marginal trading and online retail banking accounts.
Dukascopy Bank’s chief brokerage officer believes that cryptocurrencies continue to play a significant role in today’s world. They are confident that offering crypto-related services through a regulated bank adds substantial value to the cryptocurrency industry as a whole.
The entry of SGKB into the cryptocurrency industry demonstrates the increasing acceptance and adoption of digital assets by traditional banking institutions. As more banks in Switzerland and around the world enter the crypto market, it is expected that cryptocurrencies will continue to gain prominence and further integrate with traditional financial systems, offering customers an expanded range of financial opportunities.