“Half of the top 20 biggest banks in the world will actively hold and trade digital assets in 2020.”

This was Brad Garlinghouse’s prediction back in December 2019 that is slowly coming to fruition.

Swiss banks warm up to Digital Assets

In the past month alone, three Swiss banks have added support for digital asset trading and custody, including XRP.

Sygnum bank launched XRP custody, trading, and credit services on April 30th while Arab Bank (Switzerland) Ltd. announced on the same day that it would be adding a full suite of digital asset services, providing advisory, custody and brokerage services the following month.

The latest bank to announce the trading and custody of cryptocurrencies and digital assets is Maerki Baumann & Co. AG.

Maerki Baumann & Co. AG

Maerki Baumann has been offering business accounts for blockchain companies and overseeing initial coin offerings (ICOs) and security token offerings (STOs) since April 2019. The private bank is now launching the next phase of its crypto strategy: from June 2020 onwards, the family-owned company will be offering its clients the trading and custody of cryptocurrencies and other digital assets. This represents a milestone in the bank’s expansion of its private banking offering.

The Swiss Financial Market Advisory Authority (FINMA) recently issued a license for Maerki Baumann to offer the trading and custody of cryptocurrencies as well as other digital assets (tokens). With this initiative, the bank is seeking to build a bridge between traditional private banking and the crypto world. “With the trading and custody of digital assets, not only are we tapping into a new business area, we are also creating additional investment possibilities for our core business”, enthuses Dr Stephan A. Zwahlen, Chief Executive Officer. This will benefit younger, tech-savvy client segments as well as private and institutional clients who would like to seek out new sources of return in the digital sphere or further diversify their portfolios.

Maerki Baumann will initially offer trading in the principal cryptocurrencies, namely Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC) and XRP. Clients may also trade in other digital assets based on the so-called ERC-20 token standard. Furthermore, the private bank will be further expanding its universe of tradable cryptocurrencies and tokens in the near future. The trading orders placed with Maerki Baumann will be transferred via established partner companies, most notably the transaction bank InCore Bank AG, to professional crypto brokers and to the world’s leading and most liquid crypto exchanges. This will ensure that transactions can be rapidly executed and with a narrow trading spread.

When looking after digital assets, Maerki Baumann will rely on modern technologies and the expertise of highly experienced partners. Its multi-layered security architecture is designed to ensure maximum protection against cyber-attacks and unauthorized access. All data is saved in ultra-secure facilities in Switzerland. As a regulated bank under Swiss law, Maerki Baumann fulfils all relevant statutory and regulatory guidelines thanks to its tried-and-tested processes and innovative security solutions. “We believe that, thanks to our stability and reputation as a reliable banking house, we will enjoy a competitive advantage by offering the trading and custody of cryptocurrencies and other digital assets”, observes Stephan Zwahlen.

InCore Bank AG

As mentioned above, trading orders placed with Maerki Baumann will be transferred via the transaction bank InCore Bank AG to professional crypto brokers and to the world’s leading and most liquid crypto exchanges. InCore Bank AG also received authorization from The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) yesterday. This makes InCore Bank the first Swiss business-to-business bank to offer financial service providers and institutions worldwide easy and secure access to a new and forward-looking asset class. Maerki Baumann is the first customer bank to be ready for launch.

About Maerki Baumann

Maerki Baumann & Co. AG, based in Zurich, has been a family-owned innovative Zurich private bank since 1932. It focuses on its core competencies of investment advisory services and asset management, as well as providing services for independent asset managers. With its crypto offering and its modular investment approach, the private bank underlines its aim of combining the traditional with the new. As of 31 December 2019, Maerki Baumann had assets under management of approximately CHF 8.5 billion (8.84 billion USD), of which 80% originated in Switzerland and 10% in Germany.

Maerki Baumann and InCore Bank have been added to our XRP ecosystem.