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Santander, Crédit Agricole Asset Servicing Arm Acquires French Crypto Custody License – Adoption on the Rise?

Fredrik Vold
Last updated: | 1 min read
Source: AdobeStock / MarinadeArt

CACEIS Bank, the combined asset servicing arm of the major European banks Crédit Agricole and Santander, has acquired a French crypto custody license, according to the website of France’s financial regulator.

The license, which was granted by France’s Financial Markets Authority (AMF) on June 20, means that CACEIS Bank is now registered as a digital asset service provider for the service of “digital asset custody” only.

On its website, AMF says that it carries out “a number of checks” on all companies that receive a license.

It said this includes checks of the “competence of the managers and beneficial owners” and of compliance with anti-money laundering (AML) and terrorist financing rules.

Other firms holding French crypto licenses includes Binance, which has been authorized to offer digital asset exchange services, custody, fiat-to-crypto and crypto-to-crypto trading since May of 2022.

Just in time before new rules

Notably, CACEIS Bank’s registration with the regulator was finalized just in time before new and stricter regulations on digital asset service providers will enter into force in France in July.

Under the new rules, service providers will need to implement stronger AML measures, ensure that customer funds are held in segregated accounts, and provide more detailed disclosures about potential risks and conflicts of interest.

Since France is an EU member state, all crypto firms registered with the regulator in the country are also considered to be authorized under the EU’s new Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) rules.

The EU’s MiCA regulations are expected to enter into force in the second half of 2024.

CACEIS Bank mainly services other large institutions such as asset managers, pension funds, private equity firms, and insurance companies.

CACEIS Bank has so far not commented on its venture into crypto custody, and it is unclear exactly how and to whom it plans to offer its new services.

As of the end of 2021, the bank had €4.6 trillion ($5.06 trillion) in assets under custody, and €2.4 trillion ($2.6 trillion) in assets under management.