Swiss Bankers Association Creates Working Group to Help Blockchain Firms Open Bank Accounts

Swiss Bankers Association Creates Working Group to Help Blockchain Firms Open Bank Accounts

Heinz Tännler, the Financial Director of Zug, a town in Switzerland, called on the SBA (Swiss Bankers Association) to create a working group to help blockchain firms open accounts in banks, a local news outlet reported yesterday, June 26.

Due to the problems faced by blockchain and crypto companies in the country in opening bank accounts, Tännler and Ernst Stocker, financial director of Zurich, decided to bring the issue to Federal Council Ueli Maurer’s notice. Tännler seemed concerned about the risk of losing potential business to countries with more crypto-friendly banking environments.

He said that the nascent technology offers great potential for the country, and the country should not lose such an innovative industry simply because the banking environment makes payment transactions impossible. Maurer also called a meeting for the SNB (Swiss National Bank), the SIF (State Secretariat for International Financial Affairs), the Swiss FINMA (Financial Market Supervisory Authority), Hypothekarbank Lenzburg, the cantons of Zurich and Zug, and the SBA.

As a result of the meeting, the SBA has set up a working group to develop recommendations for Swiss banks on how to deal with blockchain and crypto companies in order to open an account. The recommendations developed by the group will also be consolidated with the Swiss FINMA.

According to the local media outlet, the Tax Directorate of Zug issued a statement saying the reason behind lack of any legal certainty from local banks lies in the need to comply with all financial market regulations. The regulations are not tailored to blockchain and crypto-based companies.

Earlier this month, Hypothekarbank Lenzburg became the first Swiss bank to provide business accounts to blockchain-based firms. While Falcon Private Bank has provided management services for crypto assets since 2017, the CEO confirmed that they are first in Switzerland to open business accounts for blockchain companies.

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