Swiss bank SEBA nears approval for Hong Kong crypto services

Crypto-focused Swiss bank SEBA’s Hong Kong branch has received preliminary approval from the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC).

SEBA Hong Kong said obtaining an Approval-in-Principle (AIP) for its license application will allow it to engage in regulated activities in the city-state.

Once granted, the bank will be among the first set of licensed entities in Hong Kong to offer crypto investment services.

“We see enormous potential in Hong Kong’s journey to becoming a global crypto market leader and look forward to contributing to that trajectory,” Amy Yu, CEO of Asia Pacific at SEBA Hong Kong, said in a statement.

Yu told Blockworks that the regional subsidiary anticipates securing its complete license by the fourth quarter of this year. 

This outcome is contingent on meeting the conditions set forth by the SFC relating to specific confirmations and internal protocols.

Yu said SEBA is considering expanding into other crypto centers in the region, like Singapore.

Earlier this year, Hong Kong authorities established a licensing system and lifted the ban on retail crypto trading in May, signaling a move towards becoming a more prominent crypto hub.

Soon after, the city’s banking regulator reportedly encouraged major banks to consider crypto exchanges as clients following the introduction of a comprehensive regulatory framework designed to foster innovation.

Currently, only HashKey and OSL Exchange appear on the SFC’s list of licensed crypto platforms.

The SFC previously warned that crypto platforms misrepresenting their licensing status, or claiming to be in the process of securing a license, would be penalized if they subsequently apply for genuine approval from the regulator.

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