- SEBA Bank has received an in-principle approval to deal in virtual assets by the Hong Kong Securities Future Commission(SFC).
- SEBA Bank’s latest achievement may catalyze its plans for international expansion.
On Aug 30, SEBA Bank’s Hong Kong branch announced its approval-in-principle, granted by the Hong Kong Securities Future Commission (SFC) to offer crypto services.
An approval-in-principle(AIP) is the first process in obtaining a local license to deal in virtual assets and securities in Hong Kong.
Before granting the approval-in-principle (AIP) and full license to banks, Hong Kong has made numerous efforts to become a virtual asset hub.
Recently, Hong Kong launched a virtual asset trading platform(VATP) regime, a prominent effort designed to enable virtual asset providers to serve retail investors once they obtain a full license from the Securities Future Commission (SFC).
Although the collapse of top banks like Silvergate and Signature Bank dwindled the results of the efforts made, Hong Kong continues to push its commitment and support for the cryptocurrency sector. It plans to become a crypto hub and has expressed this policy by welcoming banks, crypto companies, and crypto enthusiasts with open hands through its initiatives.
Amy Yu, CEO of APAC SEBA Hong Kong, highlights the Hong Kong government’s support through the AIP approval.
“We see enormous potential in Hong Kong’s journey to becoming a global crypto market leader and look forward to contributing to that trajectory. SEBA Hong Kong commends the example Hong Kong sets for regulatory standards worldwide and values the role of this licence in expanding our regulated footprint across the Asia Pacific,”She said.
The approval-in-principle (AIP) signifies an integral point for SEBA Bank’s Hong Kong branch on its road to obtaining a full license. With the full license, the crypto-friendly Swiss bank can deal in regulated activities like “securities, including virtual assets-related products, such as OTC derivatives and structured products; advise on securities and virtual assets; and conduct asset management for discretionary accounts in both traditional securities and virtual assets”.
According to the press release, the impact of SEBA Bank’s license is beyond dealing in crypto-related products in Hong Kong; it will also be a significant milestone for its expansion plans in the Asia-Pacific.
“Complementing SEBA group’s established licenses in Switzerland (FINMA) and Abu Dhabi (FSRA), the Hong Kong AIP significantly extends our global regulatory footprint,” Franz Bergumueller, the Group CEO of SEBA Bank, said.
To express its Asia-Pacific strategy, SEBA Bank has partnered with HashKey, one of Hong Kong’s licensed crypto exchanges.
Hashkey announced the partnership recently, referring to the crypto-friendly bank as its “preferred digital asset trading and market development partner in Hong Kong.”
Hashkey recently upgraded its license to trade cryptocurrency as an exchange in August. It is the first crypto exchange in Hong Kong to obtain a crypto license.
SEBA Bank is a crypto-friendly bank of Swiss origin. SEBA opened its first bank in Hong Kong last November after obtaining a license to offer crypto services in Abu Dhabi and Switzerland.