The corporate banking group Initium Group plans to launch in Liechtenstein, offering services tailored to the needs of blockchain clients. The industry will benefit from increased banking competition.
Initium Group, a Switzerland-based corporate banking group, will seek a banking license to operate in Liechtenstein. Its goal is to offer banking services to blockchain, crypto and FinTech businesses whose banking needs are currently underserved by established financial institutions.
Blockchain businesses worldwide face difficulties when dealing with banks
For blockchain businesses, bank appointments are not always an enjoyable experience. It’s still difficult to get access to even the most basic products and services, like a corporate bank account.
And that’s not only the case for cryptocurrency startups. Obviously, they are high up on the banks’ blacklists, but even for blockchain businesses that have no connection with cryptocurrencies, opening a business account can be adventurous, to say the least.
A report by Digital Catapult, a U.K.-based digital technology innovation center, found that 54% of blockchain companies have difficulties opening a U.K. bank account. Even in crypto-friendly Switzerland, only a few of almost 250 local banks have allowed crypto-startups to open bank accounts, according to Reuters.
Daniel Spier, CEO of Initium Group explains, “The conventional risk modeling frameworks that traditional financial institutions use – coupled with their rather reactive nature – are just not responding to the growth aspirations of these new players. Initium Group sees this gap as an outstanding opportunity to help these fledgling companies get their ideas off the ground and actively participate in strengthening the foundations of the new digital economy.”
Initium Group will open an office in Liechtenstein and offer the full range of corporate banking services
Compared to other jurisdictions, Liechtenstein’s banking sector has proven to be more open to crypto and blockchain businesses.
Initium wants to break into this niche, too. Spier says, “A large number of new digital economy businesses have a difficult time finding a banking partner that understands their true needs and is even willing to serve them.”
Spier said at the launch event that Initium was unrivaled. “We want to be a bank for the disenfranchised players of the new digital economy,” adds Spier.
Liechtenstein-based Bank Frick also offers a wide range of services from blockchain business accounts to the safe storage of cold wallets, crypto trading services via the bank’s own trading desk, crypto-to-fiat exchanges as well as token sale and STO advisory.
Kick-off planned for Q1 2020
The bank wants to launch the operation in Liechtenstein to gain access to the European Economic Area. The planned office is going to employ ten staff.
Besides Liechtenstein, Initium Group will also apply for banking licenses in Switzerland, the U.K., Israel, and Singapore. The plan is to kick-off operations in the first quarter of 2020.
Over the next months, Initium Group will raise the necessary funds to secure the desired licenses. Therefore, the bank has announced a Security Token Offering (STO). Additionally, it plans to use a combination of private equity and institutional funding to gather the funds to set up an infrastructure that meets the local requirements.
“Whether you are a successful Asian blockchain start-up trying to expand into Europe with no banking partner or a large law firm unable to process multiple license applications because no bank is willing to hold the funds for your clients, Initium Group will step in to help you navigate the waters and set foot on land,” says Spier.
Sounds good, but the proof of the putting is in the eating. In any case, another blockchain-focused bank in Liechtenstein is good news.