The Largest Bank in Singapore Launches Crypto Services for its Wealthy Clients
- The Central Bank of Singapore released a framework for digital assets earlier this month.
- Crypto exchanges in Singapore will now be required to share key details with regulators to increase transparency.
- Financial authorities in Singapore remain skeptical about retail investment in cryptocurrencies.
According to a Bloomberg article, DBS Group Holdings Ltd., Singapore’s largest bank, has expanded its cryptocurrency trading services to an extra 100,000 of its richest clients. Following this expansion, customers with investable assets of at least $246,000 can now purchase, sell, and trade bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Bank officials claim this exclusive offering will allow investors to trade crypto at their convenience and will also provide “hassle-free access to DDEx, one of the world’s first bank-backed digital exchanges.”
The bank additionally expects a $500 minimum commitment from interested participants. Prior to this news, DBS only offered its bitcoin trading services to family offices, clients of DBS private bank, and corporate and institutional investors.
Reacting to the news, Sim S. Lim, group executive of consumer banking and wealth management, DBS Bank, said,
As a trusted partner that helps our clients to grow and protect their wealth, we believe in staying ahead of the curve and providing access to the solutions they seek.
DBS first announced its plans to offer institutional investors cryptocurrency trading services in 2020. The decision was triggered by the growth of digital activities in the Asian country. The Singapore-based bank said its digital asset exchange saw a surge in transaction volume between April and June. Notably, more bitcoin transactions were recorded within that time frame.
While the bank is broadening its services and becoming a key player in the crypto community, Singapore remains unclear on its stance on retail investors. Singapore’s financial regulator, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), recently issued a statement warning retail investors against investing in the asset class.
The central bank identified the volatility of cryptocurrencies as a major concern, adding that individuals could incur huge losses by investing in crypto assets. A statement from the bank read,
The prices of cryptocurrencies fluctuate wildly, and investors stand to lose all the monies they have put into cryptocurrencies.
Singapore has joined the growing list of countries putting up regulatory procedures for the crypto industry. The Asian country reportedly issued a questionnaire to licensed crypto firms late last month, demanding detailed information about their holdings and activities.
As part of the new measures put in place by the MAS, small-scale investors may be required to pass a suitability test before being allowed to trade cryptocurrencies. These companies will also be required to share vital information to increase transparency.