Commerzbank forays into crypto

Commerzbank, Germany’s fourth-largest bank, has announced its intention to provide clients with digital asset custody and exchange services, joining a rising number of conservative European banks in this direction.

Last week, Bernd Reh, a senior spokesman for Commerzbank, revealed to local newspaper Börsen-Zeitung that the bank applied for a license from BaFin, Germany’s Federal Financial Supervisory Authority, in January and that the bank would focus on institutional customers first. Globally, the banking behemoth boasts 70,000 corporate and institutional clients.

Commerzbank, which, according to its most recent financial statement, had 541 billion euros ($583 billion) under management in late 2021, has been working on multiple blockchain projects since 2018.

Germany added crypto custody as a new financial service to the German Banking Act in January 2020. “Crypto custody business is also subject to the notice issued by [the German central bank] Deutsche Bundesbank on the granting of authorization to provide financial services,” BaFin says on its website dedicated to crypto licensing.

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