Société Générale, one of France’s oldest banks, has gained approval from the country’s financial regulator to offer digital asset services to its customers.
The approval was issued by the Autorite des Marches Financiers (AMF), France’s securities watchdog. It gives Societe Generale’s digital assets subsidiary, SG Forge, the power to offer customers the services of buying, selling, holding, and trading digital assets.
With the conferment of a digital asset service provider (DASP) by the AMF, the 158-year-old bank has completed the circle of embracing virtual currencies. Aside from being one of the oldest banks in the country, Societe Generale is the third-largest in France and the sixth-largest player in the European Union, with $1.4 billion in assets and an impressive balance sheet.
The foray towards digital asset services has been in the works for some time, as back in June, Metaco, a virtual currency custody company, announced that it would be partnering with SG Forge to improve its operations. Lingering doubts concerning the bank’s digital assets strategy were quelled following the disclosure that the securities services arm of the institution will offer custodial services to asset management firms.
Obtaining a DASP license from the AMF is a rigorous one which the regulator says is to ensure that the firms comply with existing anti-money laundering rules.
“It is important to remember that, regardless of the extent of the checks carried out by the AMF and the ACPR at the time of registration, DASPs must fulfill all obligations regarding anti-money laundering, combating the financing of terrorism and asset freezing,” notes the AMF.
France is steadily transforming into a digital asset hub
France has emerged as one of the leading jurisdictions for service providers in the digital assets industry. Under the new regulatory framework, several firms have gained approval from the AMF, including Crypto.com, Luno, and Binance, while other firms are at various stages of the application process.
Binance, lured by the positive stance of the French regulators said it was mulling over the decision to set up its global headquarters in the country. The exchange announced a $97 million investment to trigger increased Web 3 adoption in the country while stating that France is “uniquely positioned to be the leader of this industry in Europe.”
Crypto.com has also reportedly sunk $145 million to create a regional base in France and expand its customer base as the race to grab a sizable chunk of the market share heightens.
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