Commerzbank, a major German bank, recently announced that it had become the first full-service German bank to obtain a crypto custody license from regulators.
“Commerzbank is the first German full-service bank to be granted the Crypto Custody Licence pursuant to Article 1 Section 1a Sentence 1 No 6 German Banking Act (KWG). The licence will enable the Bank to build up a broad range of digital asset services, with particular emphasis on crypto assets,” said Commerzbank in a press release.
The license enables the bank to offer a wide array of digital asset services, particularly pertaining to cryptocurrencies.
Commerzbank said that the license was the first step to establishing a secure and reliable platform with full regulatory compliance to support its institutional clients by providing custody for crypto assets based on blockchain technology.
“Now that we have been granted the licence, we have achieved an important milestone. This highlights our ongoing commitment to applying the latest technologies and innovations, and it forms the foundation for supporting our customers in the areas of digital assets,” said Dr Jörg Oliveri del Castillo-Schulz, Chief Operating Officer of Commerzbank.
Oliveri highlighted the bank’s commitment to exploring cutting-edge technologies such as crypto assets and blockchain to enhance its customers’ wealth creation opportunities.
With this license, Commerzbank joins several other entities in Germany that regulators have recently approved for digital asset services.
On October 24, BitGo, a U.S. cryptocurrency custody company, obtained a crypto custody business license from the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin).
Shortly after, on November 2, Germany’s third-largest commercial bank, DZ Bank, introduced its digital assets custody platform.
Even though DZ Bank’s crypto custody license is still pending approval from the German regulator, the bank is already granting institutional investors access to crypto asset securities, including crypto bonds from Siemens, which it introduced six months earlier.
Commerzbank has unveiled an ambitious strategic plan for 2027, aiming to boost its revenue base through targeted expansion in customer business, digital banking, asset management and sustainable finance.
The bank announced its goal to decrease its cost-income ratio to 55 percent by 2027 and achieve a net profit target of about $3.9 billion. Additionally, Commerzbank disclosed its plan to offer an attractive capital return to shareholders, seeking approval from the European Central Bank (ECB) and Finance Agency for a share buy-back of up to $688 million.
This announcement follows strong financial results for the first nine months of 2023. Commerzbank almost doubled its net profit to $1.9 billion from $1.04 billion in 2022. Third-quarter revenue surged to $3 billion, fueled by robust customer business and the continued positive impact of interest rates.
Commerzbank’s strategy until 2027 revolves around three main pillars—growth, excellence and responsibility. It aims to provide customers with relevant products and solutions while enhancing their overall experience. To achieve this, it will concentrate on streamlining digital processes to boost efficiency and reduce the cost-income ratio.
In the Private and Small-Business Customer segment (PSBC), Commerzbank aims to broaden the range of its digital banking solutions through its Commerzbank and Comdirect brands. The bank also identifies growth prospects in Asset and Wealth Management and intends to expand these activities through its newly established asset management company, Yellowfin.
Additionally, Commerzbank plans to enhance transaction banking by investing in new systems and technologies.
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