Citi, the American multinational investment bank, has appointed Puneet Singhvi to lead the division of the digital assets of its Institutional Clients Group (ICG) starting on December 1.
It has been reported that in addition to appointing Singhvi on Monday, Citi is hiring 100 additional personnel for the division of its digital assets. The move indicates a concerted effort to beef up the financial group’s understanding of digital assets.
However, Singhvi was previously the head of blockchain and digital assets in Citi’s trading business. Citi Group is the world’s largest issuer of credit cards, and its ICG serves corporations, financial institutions, and governments around the world.
The report said that an emailed statement from Emily Turner, head of business development at the ICG, hinted that the bank is exploring its options in providing digital assets services to its clients.
“Prior to offering any products and services, we are studying these markets, as well as the evolving regulatory landscape and associated risks in order to meet our own regulatory frameworks and supervisory expectations.”
“We believe in the potential of blockchain and digital assets including the benefits of efficiency, instant processing, fractionalization, programmability and transparency.”
Likewise, Citi is not the only major US bank hiring crypto talent. The Bank of America sought a specialist on Ripple (XRP) in October. Additionally, Yahoo News reported on November 6 that financial institutions have increased crypto hires by 40% in the first half of 2021, and they are attracting this new tech talent by increasing pay packages by as much as 50%.
Other major banks seeking crypto talent include J.P. Morgan Chase, BNY Mellon, Deutsche Bank, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Capital One, UBS, Credit Suisse, and Barclays. Citi Group does not currently offer any dedicated digital asset services for its clients, although rumors circulated in late August that it was considering offering Bitcoin futures trading for institutional investors.
Thus, some of Citi’s competitors among the top banks in the United States already offer various services related to digital assets. J.P. Morgan provides access to six different crypto funds while the Bank of America currently offers Bitcoin futures trading for certain clients and operates a crypto research team.