Commerzbank AG, one of the leading banking services in Germany, has bagged a cryptocurrency custody licence in the country, as per its Wednesday press release.
This has made it the first German full-service bank to be granted the licence. With this, the Frankfurt-headquartered bank will be able to build up a broad range of digital asset services, with particular emphasis on crypto assets.
In doing so, the bank has successfully taken its first step in establishing a secure and reliable platform with full regulatory compliance to support its institutional clients by providing custody for crypto assets based on blockchain technology.
The chief operating officer of Commerzbank, Dr Jörg Oliveri del Castillo-Schul, commented on the development saying: “Now that we have been granted the licence, we have achieved an important milestone. This highlights our ongoing commitment to applying the latest technologies and innovations, and it forms the foundation for supporting our customers in the areas of digital assets.”
Commerzbank is the leading bank for the German Mittelstand, with other areas of focus including large corporates and institutional clients. It is a strong partner for around 26,000 corporate client groups and almost 11 million private and small-business customers in Germany.
The bank has two Business Segments – Private and Small-Business Customers and Corporate Clients. It claims to transact approximately 30 per cent of Germany’s foreign trade and is present internationally in more than 40 countries in the corporate clients’ business.
Germany has been a tricky place for companies to obtain a crypto licence or its related services. Its financial markets regulator, Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin), has been quite cautious in giving firms the green light to do the same.
Back in June, the world’s largest crypto exchange, Binance, got denied a custodial licence by BaFin. The regulatory watchdog did not give a specific reason behind the denial in approval.
Recently, Germany’s biggest lender, Deutsche Bank, also revealed its plans of offering digital asset custody and tokenisation services in the country. It has already started working with Taurus, a Swiss start-up specialising in cryptocurrency safekeeping, for the same.
The bank had applied for a digital assets licence with the German regulators back in June. While it still awaits a decision from BaFin, a green light from the regulator would open the gates for Deutsche Bank to operate a custody service for digital assets in the country.