The largest bank in Switzerland, UBS Group AG, is reportedly setting up the groundwork for enabling high-profile and wealthy customers cryptocurrency investments. According to a report by Bloomberg, UBS is exploring investment opportunities in response to the growing demand of the market.
It also mentioned that any investment offering would be restricted to a very small portion of the clients’ total wealth citing concerns related to volatility as the reason. Preferred clients may opt for investing via third-party investment vehicles, people familiar with the matter said.
UBS’s plans are still in the early stages and the latest move comes as the demand for the asset class took a sharp parabolic increase this year.
In a statement, the Swiss firm had stated,
“We are monitoring the developments in the field of digital assets closely. Importantly, we are most interested in the technology which underpins digital assets, namely the distributed ledger technology.”
Just last week, its competitor, Julius Baer Group’s Chief Executive Officer, Philipp Rickenbacher has revealed that the wealth manager was exploring ways with its partners to offer its customers access to crypto assets.
UBS’s Previous Tryst With Crypto
UBS’s move also comes more than a week after its Chief Economist of Global Wealth Management, Paul Donovan talked about the problems related to Bitcoin and the accessibility factor.
While stating that Bitcoin seems to specifically defy the spirit of the age, in a way other cryptocurrencies do not, the exec went on to add that,
“Some suggest Bitcoin is a safe haven from runaway inflation. But controlling supply does not guarantee value (as Beanie Baby ‘hodlers’ know). Bitcoin has a history of extreme price fluctuation.”
UBS’s association with the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry is not new. The multinational investment bank and financial services company has been working with blockchain software development company R3 and US-based tech company Ripple since 2017.
Five months to 2021, and the community has witnessed several investment banks have dipped their toes into the space to offer cryptocurrency investments. Some of the big players include Goldman Sachs and banks such as BNY Mellon and Deutsche Bank. On the other hand, Citigroup was also examining the roll-out of crypto services as demand from the clients intensified.