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Spanish financial institutions want to offer crypto services to clients

The lack of clarity from the Bank of Spain, the country’s central bank, has prevented these financial institutions from making their entry into the crypto space.

Banco de España (Madrid) / Image by: Wikimedia Commons

Mon, 25 Oct 2021, 13:39 pm UTC

Spanish banks do not want to miss out on the boom in the crypto markets and are reportedly making preparations to offer crypto-related services to their clientele. However, the lack of clarity from the Bank of Spain, the country’s central bank, has prevented these financial institutions from making their entry into the crypto space.

Not wanting to miss the crypto boom, Spanish banks have started asking how to register to enable them to offer crypto products. In June 2020, the Bank of Spain promised that it would provide instructions on the registration process by September or October this year, according to Spanish publication El Pais.

According to the report, the registry for these platforms is meant to be operational by October 29, 2021. However, the central bank has not yet provided the registration instructions it previously promised.

The registry is meant to help combat money laundering. What is uncertain, however, is if financial institutions are still required to register considering that they are already regulated entities, according to Coindesk.

“It would not make sense for a bank to have to go through the requirements imposed, since these entities are already directly supervised,” said Gloria Hernández Aler, a partner at regulatory advisory firm finReg360. “However, it does make sense for them to notify that they are going to provide this type of service and, probably, they will need to change their money laundering policy to adapt it to the dynamics of crypto assets.”

International players in the banking sector generally support the regulation of crypto assets. “The sector is eager to regulate cryptocurrencies,” an unnamed source from a US bank is quoted in the El Pais report. “And the moment that happens and the rules of the game have been defined, there will be a very strong rise in the price of these assets.”

In fact, some of the executives of international financial giants have already invested in digital currencies. “There are numerous operators who personally invest in cryptocurrencies,” industry sources added.

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