The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) has met with representatives of the country’s banking sector in the hopes of stemming a nascent exodus among cryptocurrency companies from Switzerland. The companies’ departures have been attributed to two Swiss banks’ decisions to no longer provide financial services to businesses dealing with virtual currencies.
FINMA Acts to Prevent Crypto Exodus
Switzerland’s financial regulators are taking steps intended to stem the perceived exodus of cryptocurrency companies from the nation, recently holding discussions with the Swiss National Bank and bankers’ association on how to increase the accessibility of financial services to cryptocurrency ventures.
As it stands, many analysts have predicted that many companies operating with virtual currencies will continue to leave Switzerland in favor of jurisdictions whose financial institutions are more amenable to crypto companies, including Liechtenstein, Gibraltar and the Cayman Islands.
Officials Seek to Preserve Swiss Crypto Industry
Despite cryptocurrency-related activities comprising a small portion of Switzerland’s financial industries, Swiss officials are viewing the country’s virtual currency as a valuable asset that should be preserved.
The finance director of Zug – a Swiss canton has been dubbed “Crypto Valley” following the establishment of between 200 and 300 virtual currency companies in the jurisdiction during recent years – Heinz Taennler, has warned that the crypto exodus may continue should the government fail to take action to guarantee the provision of financial services firms operating with virtual currencies.
“All their banking relationships are going to Liechtenstein,” Mr. Taennler stated. “There are hundreds of jobs that have been created, and every job is important.”
Virtual Currency Firms Appeal to Central Bank
According to Thomas Moser, an alternate member of the governing board of the Swiss National Bank, several cryptocurrency companies appealed to the country’s central bank regarding concerns pertaining to the provision of financial services to the sector.
Mr. Moser stated that “They raised concerns about problems with opening bank accounts, which was a worry for them, and asked for help. I said this was not something the [Swiss National Bank] dealt with, but they should speak with FINMA.”
“We would not want to close the door on the opportunities that such innovation (cryptocurrencies) might bring,” Moser added.
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