The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) – the largest bank in Hong Kong – has reportedly introduced its first local cryptocurrency services. HSBC has allowed its clients to buy and sell exchange-traded funds (ETFs) based on Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH). The tweet reads, in part: “SCOOP: HSBC, the largest bank in Hong Kong, today allows its customers to buy and sell Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs listed on the Hong Kong exchange and is also the first bank in Hong Kong to allow this. This The move will expand local users’ access to cryptocurrencies in Hong Kong.” According to the announcement, HSBC will specifically offer cryptocurrency ETFs listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. At the time of writing, the exchange lists three crypto ETFs, including the CSOP Bitcoin Futures ETF, CSOP Ethereum Futures ETF, and Samsung Bitcoin Futures Active ETF. The move aims to expand local users’ access to cryptocurrencies in Hong Kong. As of March 2022, HSBC Hong Kong had 1.7 million active mobile customers, according to online reports. About 95% of all HSBC retail transactions in Hong Kong are reportedly processed online.
New services are provided along with the launch of the Investor Education Center. The initiative is designed to protect investors from the risks associated with cryptocurrencies and requires them to read and validate educational materials and risk disclosures before investing. The education center will reportedly be available on HSBC VA products such as the HSBC HK Easy Invest app, the HSB CHK Mobile Banking app, and online banking.
The news came shortly after some media outlets speculated in mid-June that the Hong Kong Monetary Authority was pressuring major banks to accept cryptocurrency exchanges as clients. The region’s central bank and regulator have specifically questioned companies like HSBC and Standard Chartered about why they don’t take on any cryptocurrency exchanges as clients.