132-Year-Old Swiss Private Bank Set to Offer Crypto Services to Wealthy Clients


Julius Baer Group, which is one of the oldest financial services companies in Switzerland, is offering crypto services to its wealthy clients. 

According to a report by Bloomberg published on May 19, the private bank, which is headquartered in Zurich, sees the current turmoil in the crypto markets as a “potentially defining moment” for the digital asset class. 

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In a statement on the bank’s updated strategy, Julius Baer seeks to put itself as the intersection of “digital assets and the fiat world.” The bank has already implemented pilot programs that will offer advice, trading and investments in cryptoassets to rich clients. 

Chief Executive Officer Philipp Rickenbacher said during a presentation to investors:

It could well be at this very instant that we are witnessing a bubble-burst moment of the crypto-industry and we all know what happened after the dot-com bubble burst 30 years ago. It paved the way for the emergence of a new sector that indeed transformed our lives.

Rickenbacher also referenced the aftermath of the dot-com bubble thirty years ago:

They will transform the financial sector over the next ten years and it is important for us to gain a strong foothold in this area. That’s why it’s exactly the right moment to invest in the long-term potential of digital asset technology.




According to the banking head, decentralized finance holds similar potential:

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On the other hand, it’s also where traditional, cost-heavy and complex parts of the old banking system are today just rewritten with a few lines of code. As technology and traditional finance ultimately will converge, there is huge potential to really transform our value chains.

As noted in the report by Bloomberg, Baer’s shift to offer crypto services comes in stark contrast to rival Swiss-bank UBS Group AG, which has declined to offer digital asset advising to clients. 

However, Baer has been positioning itself in the digital asset space for years, in 2019 taking a stake in SEBA Crypto AG, which is one of two fully regulated crypto banks in Switzerland. At the time of the investment, Baer said it was “convinced” that digital assets would become a legitimate and sustainable class for investors. 

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Disclaimer

The views and opinions expressed by the author, or any people mentioned in this article, are for informational purposes only, and they do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice. Investing in or trading cryptoassets comes with a risk of financial loss.

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