Major Swiss investment bank UBS Group AG is reportedly planning to offer cryptocurrency investments, likely including bitcoin exposure, to wealthy clients.
“The Swiss firm is exploring several alternatives for offering the asset class, people familiar with the plan said,” according to Bloomberg. “Any investment offering would be a very small portion of the clients’ total wealth because of the volatility, while options include investing through third party investment vehicles, one of the people said.”
Sources also voiced concern that clients would leave UBS if it did not start offering some sort of cryptocurrency investment options to its clients. Recently, many of its highest-profile competitors have signaled their plans to grant bitcoin exposure to their own clients.
For instance, this year, BNY Mellon has announced a bitcoin strategy for its clients, Morgan Stanley has announced plans to allow clients to invest in bitcoin funds and Goldman Sachs has shared details around its work to offer BTC investment vehicles and recently offered bitcoin derivatives.
It’s still unclear how or when the Swiss firm will broach cryptocurrency offerings, or how much it will emphasize bitcoin specifically. But a major legacy institution such as UBS is likely to start with BTC offerings first, an increasingly-popular asset among wealthy investors.
“UBS Chief Executive Officer Ralph Hamers is taking a deep look at where he can cut costs and digitize operations, including the high-touch business of serving the world’s wealthiest,” per Bloomberg. “The bank spends approximately $3.5 billion per year on technology to maintain and modernize its existing infrastructure and innovate new tools for employees and products for clients.”