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BY CNA Team - September 24, 2018

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Swiss banks move to ease blockchain access to accounts

Swiss Bankers Association make it easier for blockchain companies to set up corporate accounts
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Swiss banks are upping their game in the crypto space by making it easier for blockchain companies to open corporate accounts.

Startups in the blockchain space and in particular those that conducted initial coin offerings (ICOs) have faced problems opening bank accounts in the country as banks fear the risks from fraud and money laundering.

Reuters in a Sept 21 report says the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) issued guidelines to banks who want to do business with such startups.

“We believe that with these guidelines, we’ll be able to establish a basis for discussion between banks and innovative startups, making the dialogue simpler and facilitating the opening of accounts,” SBA strategic adviser Adrian Schatzmann told reporters last week.

The SBA created a working group to look into the issue in late June and it was reported that the association was holding discussions with the Swiss National Bank and the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, the financial market watchdog, on how banking services can be more accessible to blockchain companies.

In recent months, Malta, the British dependency of Gibraltar and Liechtenstein have come either passed or is in the process of passing laws allowing for cryptocurrency transactions over exchanges and funding from ICOs.

Switzerland’s crypto hub is located in the small town of Zug, which formed the Crypto Valley Association to champion blockchain and cryptos.

The newswire says only a handful of the country’s 250 banks allow blockchain companies to deposit the cash equivalent of cryptocurrencies into their accounts and that has been under very strict conditions.

Image courtesy of Swiss Bankers Association website.

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