Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) – the largest bank in Hong Kong – has reportedly introduced its first local cryptocurrency services. HSBC has enabled its customers to buy and sell Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH)-based exchange-traded funds (ETFs), local journalist Colin Wu reported in a tweet on June 26. According to the report, HSBC will specifically offer cryptocurrency ETFs listed on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong. At the time of writing, the exchange lists three crypto ETFs, including CSOP Bitcoin Futures ETF, CSOP Ethereum Futures ETF and Samsung Bitcoin Futures Active ETF.
The move aims to expand local users’ exposure to cryptocurrencies in Hong Kong. According to online reports, HSBC Hong Kong had 1.7 million active mobile customers as of March 2022. About 95% of all retail transactions of HSBC in Hong Kong are reportedly processed online. HSBC did not immediately respond to Cointelegraph’s request for comment. This article will be updated pending new information.
The new services come alongside HSBC reportedly launching the Virtual Asset Investor Education Center. The initiative is designed to protect investors from cryptocurrency-related risks, requiring them to read and confirm educational materials and risk disclosures before investing. The education center is reportedly available on HSBC’s virtual asset-related products like the HSBC HK Easy Invest app, HSB CHK Mobile Banking app and online banking.
The news comes soon after some media reports suggested in mid-June that the Hong Kong Monetary Authority pressured major banks to accept crypto exchanges as clients. The region’s central bank and regulator specifically questioned companies like HSBC and Standard Chartered on why they were not taking any crypto exchanges as clients.