Switzerland-based SEBA Bank, a leading crypto bank, has recently been granted a license by the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC). This allows SEBA to offer a wide range of cryptocurrency-related services through its subsidiary, SEBA Hong Kong, in the region. The SFC’s website reveals that SEBA received the license on November 3.
The license provides authorization for SEBA to engage in dealing and distributing all securities, including digital assets-related products like over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives. Notably, this marks SEBA’s first venture into the Asia Pacific market. The bank initially established an office in Hong Kong in November 2022 with a specific focus on expanding services in the region.
Furthermore, SEBA already obtained in-principle approval from the SFC to offer virtual asset trading services back in August 2023. Beyond Switzerland, SEBA also boasts a presence in Abu Dhabi. The SFC license will enable SEBA to provide advice on securities and digital assets, as well as conduct asset management for discretionary accounts in both traditional and digital assets. Additionally, the Swiss firm can now offer its services to institutional and professional investors such as corporate treasuries, funds, family offices, and high-net-worth individuals.
In response to this development, Franz Bergmueller, the CEO of SEBA, conveyed his enthusiasm for becoming a part of Hong Kong’s digital asset economy. He highlighted the city’s robust legal system as a solid foundation for conducting crypto-related services. The CEO emphasized that the regulatory clarity benefits not only their business but also augments Hong Kong’s status as a global financial services hub.
Hong Kong has increasingly positioned itself within the global crypto economy, particularly in 2023, through the establishment of favorable regulations to foster the growth of crypto companies. The city has implemented a stringent license regime, creating opportunities for only a select few platforms to offer services to both international and retail customers. Out of approximately 100 firms that expressed interest in opening branches in Hong Kong following the government’s announcement of licensing, only a handful managed to secure approval.
SEBA’s recent licensing from the Hong Kong SFC truly underlines the bank’s dedication to expanding its crypto-related services globally. With Hong Kong now on its list of authorized locations, SEBA will continue to play a significant role in the evolution and mainstream adoption of cryptocurrency and digital assets in the Asia Pacific region.