Germany’s largest financial institution Deutsche Bank AG is seeking regulatory permission to operate a custodial platform to offer cryptocurrencies. Deutsche Bank has filed for regulatory permission with German’s Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) to offer crypto custodial services.The German bank currently holds assets worth $1.34 trillion and is the ninth-largest European bank. The head of the German bank’s commercial banking unit, David Lynne, confirmed the news in a press conference Tuesday, Bloomberg reported. “We’re building out our digital assets and custody business. We just put our application into the BaFin for the digital asset licence,” The latest regulatory permission is part of a wider strategy to increase fee income at Deutsche Bank’s corporate bank, Lynne added. Deutsche Bank First Hinted Crypto Plans In 2020Deutsche Bank’s corporate bank divisions first hinted at its cryptocurrency custodial plans in late 2020, but it did not specify as to when it will offer such services. The corporate bank divisions were then run by Stefan Hoops. Lynne took over the division a year ago when Hoops joined DWS as chief executive officer.Earlier this year, Deutsche Bank called for a tighter regulatory framework around cryptocurrencies in its research paper. The German bank also cited the fall of FTX exchange in its research to justify a tighter regulatory framework. Bloomberg reported on February 8 that Deutsche Bank’s asset management company DWS Group was looking to invest in two German crypto companies as part of its growth strategy.The bank at the time was in the negotiation stage to buy a minority stake in Deutsche Digital Assets as well as trading firm Tradias, which is owned by Bankhaus Scheich. Though there has been no update on the matter since. German Regulators Welcome Crypto FirmsGermany’s financial regulators have been welcoming to crypto companies in general. The European country’s lawmakers introduced a bill to allow crypto custody and trading services across all German banks and other licensed institutions in 2019 by amending the European Union’s Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive.By late last year, BaFin successfully issued four licenses for cryptocurrency custody and provisional permits to 14 financial institutions. The subsidiary of American crypto exchange Coinbase, Coinbase Germany, became the first company to get a BaFin license for operating a crypto custody platform in June 2021.
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