CACEIS, the asset servicing arm of banking giants Crédit Agricole and Santander, has been registered by French regulators to provide crypto custody services.
CACEIS Bank, which provides services to asset managers such as insurers, pension funds and private equity, was registered by France’s Financial Markets Authority (AMF) as of Tuesday June 20, according to the regulator’s website.
CACEIS, which has 4.6 trillion euros ($5.1 trillion) of assets under custody, has been rumored to be seeking the crypto regulatory status since 2021.
Registration with the AMF is compulsory for those providing crypto custody, exchange or trading services in France. Binance, the world's biggest crypto exchange, is currently under investigation by the French authorities for allegedly illegally providing services before it received approval in 2022.
The move is the latest in a series of traditional finance companies to show an interest in moving into the crypto space. Earlier this week, Deutsche Bank revealed it was seeking a crypto custody license in Germany, and the world's largest asset manager BlackRock last week filed to operate an exchange-traded fund linked to the price of bitcoin (BTC).
The European Central Bank has asked banks to hold high levels of precautionary capital for holdings it deems as risky, though a survey published by the regulator in February said crypto activities and exposures were “insignificant.”
Crédit Agricole did not immediately respond to CoinDesk’s request for comment.
CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.