June 16, 2023

Hong Kong’s HKMA Urges Major Banks To Accept Crypto Firms As Clients

Crypto in Hong Kong

Crypto in Hong Kong

Authorities in Hong Kong reportedly press major banks there to accept crypto exchanges as clients, Cointelegraph reported.

The Financial Times reported that the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), the region’s central bank and regulator, asked major banks, including HSBC, Standard Chartered, and the Bank of China why they do not accept crypto exchanges as clients during a meeting in May.

At the end of April, HKMA issued a document in which it called on all banks to provide services to cryptocurrency firms. It also urged the banking institutions to draw attention to new developments in the market and encouraged them to adopt a more ambitious approach to new sectors, including the crypto market.

The document aims to help virtual asset service providers (VASPs) to gain access to banking services.

The Financial Times noted that Hong Kong’s monetary authority sent reassuring messages to these banks not to be afraid to include crypto firms, however, there is opposition to taking crypto clients.

“We are seeing some resistance from senior executives at traditional banks,” they said.

Earlier a report by Cointelegraph said Chinese banks became more interested in tapping into the crypto sector by offering services to crypto firms in Hong Kong despite the crypto ban on China’s mainland.

Chinese state-owned banks in Hong Kong, such as Bank of China Ltd., Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, and the Bank of Communications Co., have already started offering banking services to crypto firms in Hong Kong or inquired with crypto companies.

The government of Hong Kong took steps toward its participation in the global crypto industry by introducing its own bill to regulate crypto in October 2022. On February 2023, Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission released a proposal for a licensing regime for cryptocurrency exchanges, which is set to take effect in June this year.

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