The Hong Kong branch of SEBA Bank has received an in-principle approval from the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) to provide virtual asset trading services in the jurisdiction, the Swiss crypto-focused lender announced on Wednesday.

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Fast facts

  • The SFC’s approval — when fully granted — will allow SEBA Hong Kong to offer regulated crypto services including over-the-counter derivatives, advice, and account management.
  • “SEBA Hong Kong commends the example Hong Kong sets for regulatory standards worldwide, and values the role of this licence in expanding our regulated footprint across Asia Pacific,” Amy Yu, the Asia-Pacific Chief Executive Officer of SEBA Hong Kong, said in the Wednesday announcement.
  • The in-principle approval granted to SEBA Hong Kong marks another crypto milestone for the jurisdiction. In June, a new crypto licensing regime set out a regulatory framework for exchanges and began granting licences for retail trading services.
  • SEBA Bank has a longstanding interest in Hong Kong. The Bank established its office there in November 2022 as part of its Asia-Pacific expansion efforts.
  • Prior to SEBA Bank, local crypto exchanges HashKey and OSL received their own licence upgrades from the SFC in early August. Those upgrades made them the first crypto exchanges approved for retail services in Hong Kong.
  • Weeks after receiving the upgraded licence, HashKey launched its retail services on Monday. The platform currently only allows trading of Bitcoin, Ether and the USDT stablecoin, although HashKey said it plans to introduce more tokens depending on future regulations.

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