Wednesday, February 28, 2024
Blockchain

SEBA Hong Kong Gains Preliminary Approval for Crypto-Related Services

SEBA Hong Kong, a subsidiary of Swiss-based SEBA Bank AG, has been granted an “Approval-in-Principle” (AIP) by Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC). This preliminary approval positions SEBA Hong Kong to become one of the first licensed corporations in the city to offer crypto-related investment services.

Regulatory Green Light for Crypto Services

The AIP allows SEBA Hong Kong to proceed with its license application for conducting regulated activities in the city. The scope of the license includes dealing in securities and virtual assets-related products such as OTC derivatives and structured products. Additionally, the firm is authorized to advise on securities and virtual assets and manage discretionary accounts in both traditional and digital assets.

“The AIP marks a significant leap forward in SEBA group’s mission to secure the future of the global crypto economy and, in turn, validates SEBA Hong Kong’s position in the market as a trusted and regulated partner,” said Franz Bergmueller, Group CEO of SEBA Bank.

A Strategic Move in Asia Pacific

The AIP is a crucial step in SEBA Hong Kong’s broader Asia Pacific strategy. The firm aims to offer wealth management, investment, and advisory services with the security and customer experience that accompanies a regulated institution. “This AIP signifies that all our efforts are heading in the right direction,” commented Amy Yu, CEO APAC of SEBA Hong Kong.

Aligning with Global Regulatory Standards

SEBA Bank already holds licenses from Swiss regulatory body FINMA and Abu Dhabi’s Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA). The Hong Kong AIP “significantly extends our global regulatory footprint,” Bergmueller noted.

Market Implications

The move is indicative of Hong Kong’s growing role in the global crypto economy and sets a precedent for regulatory standards in the digital asset space. “We see enormous potential in Hong Kong’s journey to becoming a global crypto market leader,” said Yu.

 SFC’s Comprehensive Virtual Asset Framework

The SFC has been a pioneer among major jurisdictions in establishing a comprehensive regulatory framework for virtual assets, commonly referred to as cryptocurrencies. Under the guiding principle of “same business, same risks, same rules,” the SFC aims to regulate various virtual asset-related activities. These include the operation of virtual asset trading platforms, fund management, and advising or dealing in virtual assets. The regulatory body’s approach aims to balance investor protection, market integrity, and risk management for financial institutions.

Image source: Shutterstock

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