UBS Group AG, the Swiss bank giant, has said that it will offer its rich clients to invest in digital assets.
It has been reported that investment opportunities in crypto will remain limited to “a very small portion of the clients’ total wealth” due to concerns over the volatility of the cryptocurrency markets.
However, sources familiar with the Swiss firm’s plans suggest that investments in digital assets through third-party investment vehicles could be one of the options open to clients. None of the sources have agreed to be identified due to the private nature of UBS’ plans, which reportedly remain in their early stages.
UBS is reportedly falling into line with other traditional financial firms and will offer clients exposure to the digital asset markets https://t.co/nkSYtgiHiC — Cointelegraph (@Cointelegraph) May 10, 2021
Ralph Hamers, the CEO of UBS, who replaced Sergio Ermotti in 2020 to the surprise of many, has a reputation for being strong on digitalization and automation. Hamers was the CEO at ING Group from 2013 to 2020, where his record was mixed. Many lauded his modernization and profitability drive yet also criticized his tenure after the bank was charged with allowing hundreds of millions of euros to be laundered via its accounts between 2010 and 2016. The bank’s 775-million euro penalty in 2018 for compliance failures was the highest ever imposed on a company by the public prosecution service in the Netherlands.
The report said that Hamers is focusing on technology investments at UBS and has shifted to a quarterly allocation to technology projects as opposed to the firm’s previous strategy of fixed funding on an annual basis. He has also been an advocate of using artificial intelligence to better understand clients’ demands and is prioritizing the digitization of execution platforms and services at UBS’ investment bank and improving digital services more broadly.
Thus, prior to UBS, the likes of Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and BNY Mellon all deepened their involvement in the digital assets sphere this year.