Gazprombank, a bank from the fold of Russian energy giant Gazprom, is launching institutional cryptocurrency services in Switzerland.
- In an announcement Thursday, the regulated Swiss arm of the bank said it has now received authorization from FINMA to launch the new services, initially to a limited number of clients.
- Gazprombank (Switzerland) will later expand the offerings to more institutional and corporate clients, providing a custody service and bitcoin trading against fiat currencies.
- More cryptocurrencies are expected to be added later.
- "We expect digital assets to become increasingly important in the global economy and, in particular, for our current and potential clientele," said the bank's CEO, Roman Abdulin.
- The bank said it applies "specially designed" due diligence procedures to add security and ensure compliance with Swiss anti-money laundering and know-your-customer rules.
- Gazprombank, Russia's third-largest by net assets, has been mulling a move into cryptocurrency services for some time, saying back in 2018 that it was planning a pilot before starting serve its wealthy clients.
- Last year, the bank and its parent firm, Gazprom, also said they had built a blockchain platform for executing business contracts and that it would soon be used digitize the gas supply process.