In brief

  • DBS Group’s private banking arm is now offering trust services for Bitcoin and several other cryptocurrencies.
  • The offering will help wealthy clients to include crypto in succession plans.

DBS Group, Southeast Asia’s largest bank, announced Friday that its private banking arm offers crypto trust services. That means high-net-worth customers can store Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and XRP with the bank.

DBS Private Bank claims that this is the first bank-backed trust service in Asia, and that it launched the service to satisfy a growing demand for cryptocurrencies.

"In recent years, more clients have expressed interest or are already invested in digital assets, and we expect this trend to accelerate as cryptocurrencies turn more mainstream,” Joseph Poon, group head DBS Private Bank, said in a statement.

He added that the trust structure will allow clients “to conveniently hold these assets, with a peace of mind that they will be safely managed and passed on to their intended beneficiaries.”

The trust service ensures that critical information, such as access instructions or wallet backups are kept in a secure and confidential manner when passing on wealth in succession plans.

The new offering, which is launched via the bank’s wholly-owned DBS Trustee, supports the four coins currently supported by DBS Digital Exchange (DDEX), the bank’s crypto exchange for accredited investors that launched in December 2020.

DBS disclosed in its Q1 earnings call that DDEX serviced 120 customers and custodied $80 million in assets.

Backed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Singapore Exchange, DDEX also supports security token offerings (STO)—regulator-approved ways for businesses to sell their shares in the form of a tokenized asset.

Financial institutions embrace crypto

By expanding its crypto offering, DBS Group is following in the footsteps of Morgan Stanley, which has offered Bitcoin funds to its clients since March.

Last week, Goldman Sachs said it will offer clients access to Bitcoin non-deliverable forwards—short-term futures contracts. Shortly after, BNN Bloomberg reported that UBS, Switzerland’s largest private bank, plans to offer cryptocurrency investments to wealthy customers.