- Standard Chartered bank to partner Hong Kong’s BC group to float crypto brokerage firm.
- How brokerage firm will help boost crypto institutional adoption.
- UK regulators still harsh on crypto.
Banking giants in the United Kingdom, Standard Chartered are planning to begin a crypto brokerage firm where institutional investors can stake in crypto and also an exchange firm for retail investors in the U.K and Europe.
Towards achieving its plan, the bank’s innovation and ventures unit SC Ventures has partnered with BC Group, the parent company of the Hong Kong-regulated crypto exchange OSL.
Standard Chartered Bank and BC Group would setup a joint venture in the U.K. to connect institutional traders to counterparties and let them trade in cryptocurrencies. Both firms would go into business as partners in the fourth quarter of 2021, subject to regulatory approvals.
The crypto brokerage firm would be headed by Usman Ahmad, chief information officer of BC Group. He would be the CEO while Standard Chartered former executive director, Nick Philpott will be the COO of the joint venture brokerage firm.
New crypto brokerage to help improve institutional investment
A top official of the UK bank, Alex Manson said that digital assets are here to stay and he expressed confidence that the joint partnership will help boost adoption by institutional markets.
He said the brokerage firm will help enable safe adoption and trading by the world’s largest and most demanding investors.
Beyond the partnership, the U.K banking giants are looking at starting institutional crypto custody service, Zodia Custody.
They have also invested in Swiss blockchain firm Metaco and are partnering with Bank of Thailand and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority to explore blockchain interoperability for cross-border fund transfers.
U.K regulators still harsh on Bitcoin
Recently, top tier banks in the European country like Barclays, Starling, and Monzo suspended transfers to crypto wallets due to fears of financial crimes.
Residents in the country reportedly lost over £60 million last year in social media investment fraud scams, with nearly half of those scams being related to cryptocurrency in one way or another. This is one reason that informed the banks’ decision to temporarily halt transfers to crypto wallets.