Crypto bank, SEBA Bank has secured a license from Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission for its subsidiary to operate crypto-related services in the city.
The license allows SEBA Bank to be a dealer and distributor of all securities, including virtual assets-related products, such as OTC derivatives and structured products with underlying virtual assets, the bank said in a statement on Wednesday.
SEBA will also serve as an advisor to the SFC on securities and assets. It will also manage assets for discretionary accounts in both traditional securities and virtual assets.
SEBA Bank is a crypto bank that has its headquarters in Switzerland. It also operates globally from its regulated offices in Switzerland, Abu Dhabi, and Hong Kong.
The bank was among the first crypto firms to open an office in Hong Kong in November last year with Hong Kong authorities releasing documents that suggested the region was open to crypto firms.
Since then, SEBA Bank has been operating in Hong Kong but its new license further strengthens its operations. Apparently, SEBA has always eyed Hong Kong as one of its operational bases because of the openness to crypto and financial innovation in general.
“The region’s position at the forefront of finance, trading, and innovation has long been attractive to us, as servicing APAC clientele is an integral aspiration of the team’s DNA,” Amy Yu, SEBA’s chief executive officer for APAC, said in the statement.
Why Hong Kong
Hong Kong has become a major hub for crypto activity since the release of documents in November last year that opened doors to crypto firms. Indeed, the region has always been at the forefront of evolving the crypto economy, which is one of the reasons why SEBA Bank is so interested in it.
Also speaking on the license, SEBA Bank Group CEO Franz Bergmueller said SEBA
“Hong Kong has been at the center of the crypto economy since Bitcoin’s inception, and we are very pleased to have added this Hong Kong license with the full approval from the SFC to our existing licenses in Switzerland (FINMA) and Abu Dhabi (FSRA),” said group CEO Franz Bergmueller.
“This regulatory clarity not only benefits our business but also supplements Hong Kong’s status as a global financial services hub, home to a multitude of market leaders in banking, asset management, and capital markets,” he added.
SEBA Bank is just the most recent crypto company to secure a crypto license in Hong Kong this year. Hashkey and OSL became the first crypto exchanges in Hong Kong to secure licenses for retail investors to trade on their platforms in August.
As the authorities continue to grant these licenses, more crypto businesses are likely to apply and secure their place in the emerging crypto hub.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong recently tightened its regulatory ropes on crypto regulation following the incident with JPEX, an unregistered crypto exchange in Hong Kong.
All the same, the destination remains attractive to compliant crypto companies such as SEBA Bank which are willing to comply and work within the confines of the law.
The SFC had last month released the list of companies that have applied for or received licenses to operate in Hong Kong to help investors identify crypto trading platforms they should stay away from and those they can use.