Major European Bank Said to Be Building Crypto Custody Arm

CACEIS, the European custody bank with $4.96 trillion in assets under custody, is working with Swiss tech firm Metaco, sources say.

Sep 14, 2021 at 6:17 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 6:43 p.m. UTC

CACEIS, the European custody and asset-servicing bank owned by Crédit Agricole and Banco Santander, is in the process of building a cryptocurrency custody solution, according to two people familiar with the plans.

CACEIS, which has €4.2 trillion ($4.96 trillion) in assets under custody and €2.2 trillion ($2.6 trillion) in assets under administration, is working with Swiss-based custody technology provider Metaco, said one of the people.

CACEIS declined to comment on its crypto plans. Metaco did not return requests for comment.

“They [CACEIS] are looking for something which is quite integrated,” one of the sources said. “They are not looking for something which is just addressing the custody piece, but something that is comprehensive and addressing various needs.”

CACEIS is 69.5% owned by Crédit Agricole and 30.5% owned by Banco Santander, following a merging of the two banks’ custody and asset-servicing operations back in 2019. Headquartered in Paris, CACEIS has a strong presence in Europe, especially Germany.

Coming to grips with crypto custody is seen as the first step for banks, and Metaco has provided solutions to a number of European lenders, including Standard Chartered, BBVA and Gazprom Bank’s Swiss arm.

BNY Mellon set off a rush of bank activations when it emerged in May that it was working with custody tech firm Fireblocks to hold crypto on clients’ behalf.

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Ian Allison is a senior reporter at CoinDesk.