DBS Bank to Expand Crypto Services to Hong Kong

As Hong Kong strives to become a center for digital assets, the Singaporean megabank DBS Group, which is wholly controlled by the Singaporean government, is making plans to extend its cryptocurrency services to the Chinese territory.

According to a report from Bloomberg dated February 13, DBS Bank intends to submit an application for a license that would enable it to provide cryptocurrency trading services to clients in Hong Kong.

Sebastian Paredes, the CEO of DBS Bank Hong Kong, said that the company intends to submit an application for a license in Hong Kong so that the bank will be able to offer digital assets to clients located in Hong Kong.

According to Paredes, DBS is “extremely sensitive” to the dangers that are involved with digital assets, but the company is excited about the newly proposed crypto-related rules in Hong Kong. Once the legislation have been clarified in their entirety and DBS “understands properly the framework,” the bank is ready to become one of the first lenders in Hong Kong to provide cryptocurrency services, as he said.

A few years ago, DBS Bank took a significant leap into the cryptocurrency business by announcing plans to create an institutional cryptocurrency exchange in Singapore around the end of the year 2020. Additionally, the business has been aiming to broaden the accessibility of its cryptocurrency platform to retail investors and has been using decentralized financial technology to collaborative initiatives with the central bank of Singapore.

The announcement comes shortly after DBS revealed that its annual net profit had increased by 20%, reaching a record 8.19 billion Singaporean dollars (SGD), which is equivalent to $6.7 billion in the United States.

The total revenue rose by 16% to 16.5 billion Singapore dollars, which is equivalent to $12.4 billion, surpassing 16 billion Singapore dollars for the first time in history.

In the midst of China’s special administrative region continuing to reiterate its pro-crypto position, DBS Bank has announced ambitions to extend its operations to Hong Kong. Paul Chan, the finance secretary of Hong Kong, made the announcement in January that the Hong Kong government is open to working with crypto and fintech businesses in 2023. The official also said that a large number of companies in the sector have indicated their intentions to either extend their operations in Hong Kong or to go public on the local markets.

According to earlier reports, the legislature of Hong Kong has enacted legislation that would result in the establishment of a licensing system for virtual asset service providers in the month of December 2022. The new regulatory framework is being developed with the intention of giving cryptocurrency exchanges the same level of market recognition that conventional financial institutions are now afforded by the existing regulatory system.

Singapore has adopted a more rigorous approach to the cryptocurrency business in the wake of big industry failures in 2022. This comes at a time when Hong Kong authorities have been gradually relaxing their stance on cryptocurrencies in recent months. Following the failure of the Singaporean cryptocurrency hedge fund Three Arrows Capital in September, the Monetary Authority of Singapore introduced legislation in October to prohibit all types of bitcoin loans.

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