The Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) has released a set of guidelines intended to bolster the availability of financial services to cryptocurrency companies. They are in response to the stubbornness of many banks to provide financial services to crypto-related businesses.
Swiss Bankers Association Publishes Guidelines Intended to Stem Crypto Exodus
The Swiss Bankers Association has published guidelines aimed at financial institutions who are willing to partner with cryptocurrency and DLT businesses.
The guidelines are a response to growing concerns that an unwillingness on the part of many banks to provide financial services to cryptocurrency companies may drive an exodus of crypto start-ups from Switzerland.
Adrian Schatzmann, strategic adviser of the SBA, stated: “We believe that with these guidelines, we’ll be able to establish a basis for discussion between banks and innovative startups, making the dialogue simpler and facilitating the opening of accounts.”
Guidelines Recommend Different Procedures for Crypto Companies Conducting ICOs
The guidelines outline a number of operational recommendations for banks partnering with cryptocurrency firms.
The SBA makes specific recommendations for firms that are conducting initial coin offerings (ICOs), also suggesting separate know-your-customer and anti-money laundering (AML) procedures for firms that raise funds through ICOs in the form fiat currencies and ICOs generating funds in the form of cryptocurrencies.
“This provides more clarity not only to banks, but also to startups,” Oliver Bussmann, head of the Crypto Valley Association said.
Swiss Banks Restrict Services to Crypto Companies Amid ICO AML concerns
The guidelines have been issued in response to increased trepidation among Swiss financial institutions with regard to partnering with crypto firms, with Reuters citing sources as asserting that “banks are worried because some of the companies that carried out ICOs did not do AML checks on their contributors, meaning the banks themselves could fall foul of AML rules.”
With Mr. Bussmann estimating that 530 crypto and DLT companies have established operations in Zurich and Zug, it is imperative for the survival of the local industry that firms are able to access basic financial services.
Deputy chief executive officer of the SBA, August Benz, indicated that while the initial discussion between the SBA and local financial institutions has been positive thus far, it will take time to assess the impact of the new guidelines.
Do you think that the Switzerland will can retain its position as a leading crypto hub despite trepidation on the part of local banks in partnering with virtual currency firms? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Swissbanking.org
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