Swiss-based digital currency bank SEBA has confirmed the receipt of an operational license from Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) to offer a range of digital asset services to residents.
SEBA disclosed that the new approval will allow its Hong Kong subsidiary to dabble in digital currency-regulated activities for institutional investors. Going forward, SEBA Hong Kong will offer over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives and structured products revolving around digital assets.
The firm said its services extend to asset management in both traditional and digital assets, specifically tailored to the needs of high-net-worth individuals, family offices, and corporate offices. The approval by Hong Kong’s SFC brings SEBA one step closer to its goal of expanding operations to the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, building on previous approvals.
“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,” said Amy Yu, CEO APAC, SEBA Hong Kong. “We are tremendously excited by Hong Kong’s deep-rooted capital markets and appetite for investment and trading.”
SEBA obtained an approval-in-principle (AIP) from the SFC in early September to offer its digital asset services to institutional clients. Amy Yu described the license as a step in the right direction. Robust compliance with the SFC’s requirements paved the way for a full approval less than two months after receiving the AIP.
“SEBA Hong Kong’s AIP is a reflection of our team’s commitment towards compliance and due diligence – essential pillars of tomorrow’s digital economy,” said Franz Bergmueller, SEBA Bank Group CEO.
In a show of intent, SEBA Hong Kong partnered with Hashkey, one of two approved local digital currency exchanges, to deepen its ties with Hong Kong’s fledgling digital currency ecosystem.
Launched in 2018, SEBA Bank has received approvals from leading regulators, including the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) and Abu Dhabi’s Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA).
Hong Kong’s march to Web3 dominance
Since the start of 2022, Hong Kong has made public its intention to transform itself as a Web3 hub. To achieve its goals, the region’s regulators set to work, launching a comprehensive legal framework to guide the activities of prospective digital asset companies in the region.
After rolling out a detailed rulebook, the SFC introduced a new licensing regime, lifting the ban on retail investors experimenting in digital currencies. With that in place, the government launched a series of initiatives to lure global Web3 firms to the region, including incubation hubs, a developmental fund, and tax concessions.
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