The fifth-largest retail bank in Switzerland PostFinance, which is the banking arm of Switzerland’s post office, is set to start offering Bitcoin trading services by 2024. The bank aims at allowing its over 2.5 million customers to buy, hold, and sell bitcoin (BTC) starting in 2024.
Commenting on the development, PostFinance head of retail banking Sandra Lienhart said:
“Our clients want direct access to this market through their house bank. Given the growing institutionalization [of cryptocurrencies]] in the last 18 months, this is the ideal time to enter the market.”
PostFinance service is expected to primarily focus on trading and custody of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies although it is reportedly in talks with other partners to build more product offerings.
If the plan is successful, PostFinance will become the second bank in Switzerland to offer crypto trading services after Swissquote, which was the first to start offering the services.
Swissquote became the first bank in Switzerland to start offering bitcoin trading services in 2017. By last year, the bank’s annual profit had shot up to $104 million. This success is seen as the main reason why PostFinance first sought a partnership with Swissquote which led to the creation of the PostFinance digital app called Yuh.
The Yuh has been providing PostFinance customers with access to cryptocurrencies and its success is probably the one that has informed the retail bank’s decision to venture into bitcoin trading.
The announcement by PostFinance will, however, place the bank in direct competition with Swissquaote.
PostFinance does not only plan of allowing the trading of bitcoin but also plans to create an independent platform where its customers can trade bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
If successful, the Swiss banking giant will join other traditional institutions like LGT Bank, Fidelity, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, and Julius Baer that have already ventured into digital assets.
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