Switzerland has emerged as a leading banking center for several organizations and individuals all over the globe. And, the country also coined the popular term “Swiss account” which has gained familiarity among banking and investment circles for all the positive reasons. The country does not allow the banks to divulge the identities of their account holders as per the Banking Law of 1934.
The law has gone a long way in keeping the privacy of clients safe and secure in a similar manner as doctors protect patients’ history, and lawyers protect clients’ details. Clients seeking complete privacy and secrecy find this feature of Swiss Banks quite appealing.
Now, Switzerland has finally begun to welcome cryptocurrency holders. The digital currency is surging in popularity and becoming famous among the masses since 2017. As a large number of individuals prefer to adopt cryptocurrency, many businesses are planning to take benefit of the rising user base, occurring within the field. These businesses are in need of storing the money in a safe manner (fiat or cryptocurrency) created from these businesses.
But the banking system is apprehensive and doubtful about cryptocurrency. They lack a welcoming attitude towards digital currency. The cynicism has been prevailing mainly due to the theft rate and fraud cases within the industry. Banks are unable to find and confirm the original source of these funds, and due to this compliance with anti-money laundering regulations become tougher.
As of now, banks in Switzerland are not keen to handle any cryptocurrency-related funds. However, a few Switzerland’s banks, like Maerki Baumann, have decided to defy the status quo by accepting the crypto asset storage.
Maerki Baumann is a popular Zurich-based private bank. It has recently decided to provide its services to cryptocurrency and blockchain firms. According to bank officials, it will only provide limited services as a result of its limited knowledge of cryptocurrency prices and volatility.
The bank has issued a statement saying,
Maerki Baumann closely monitors the development of these investment vehicles and the underlying regulation without our commitment to engage in this area. This concerns investments in cryptocurrencies as well as the technologies required to trade and store these instruments. We currently see cryptocurrencies as alternative investment vehicles, but we have limited experience and data (prices, volatility, trading volumes) available in our house.
As of now, the bank has decided not to offer cryptocurrency-related investment services and will play the role of custodian for funds produced from blockchain-related businesses. Maerki Baumann is also going to connect professionals in the field with clients who may require their services.
Apart from Maerki Baumann, another Zurich-based bank Falcon Private Bank has also decided to accept cryptocurrency-generated funds from investors, according to a report by Bloomberg. The bank will also screen all the potential clients to keep all money-laundering activities at bay.
The latest move by Maerki Baumann has provided an opportunity to crypto-holding Swiss residents to carry out their banking activities in Switzerland only.