HKMA Invites Banks to Offer Services to Crypto Firms


HKMA wants local banking institutions not to be afraid of crypto firms.

Hong Kong’s central bank and financial regulator, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), has reportedly urged banking institutions, including HSBC, Standard Chartered, and Bank of China, to open their doors to cryptocurrency exchanges as clients.

The news was revealed by the Financial Times on June 15th, citing three sources familiar with the matter.

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A meeting that took place in May with the UK-based banks and the Bank of China saw HKMA questioning the banks’ hesitance to embrace crypto exchanges as clients.

The conversation occurred shortly after the HKMA circulated a letter on April 27th to banks encouraging them to pay attention to new market developments and adopt an enthusiastic approach towards emergent sectors, including the cryptocurrency market.

As outlined in the document, HKMA urged the banks to assist “virtual asset service providers,” or crypto firms, to access banking services. A source familiar with the discussions from the May meeting indicated the HKMA’s stand, asserting that the central bank motivated the banks to dispel any fear related to dealing with crypto clients.

The same source pointed out that the majority of resistance comes from the senior leadership of traditional banks.

However, some Hong Kong lawmakers display a more positive attitude towards cryptocurrency firms. For instance, Johnny Ng, the Hong Kong Legislative Council member, expressed his support for Coinbase on Twitter on June 10th and invited the company to set up operations in friendlier territories.

Hong Kong implemented a new set of regulations concerning cryptocurrency on June 1st. These regulations enable locally-licensed crypto firms to commence operations. Consequently, any company holding a valid license can offer services to retail investors, including trading in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH).

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