Chinese banks reach out to crypto firms

27 Mar 2023

Chinese banks, including Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, the Bank of Communications Co. and Bank of China, are either offering banking services to cryptocurrency companies in Hong Kong or made inquiries with them, say sources.

This is despite the ongoing cryptocurrency ban in China.

Indeed, according to one source with knowledge of the matter, a sales representative from a Chinese bank visited a crypto company to offer banking services, Cointelegraph reports.

Head of banking relations at Hong Kong-based crypto trading platform OSL, Julia Pang, said her company embraced “growing interest from Chinese banks in engaging with the regulated crypto industry.

“This development is encouraging for both the industry and the broader ecosystem, as it demonstrates a maturing understanding of the crypto sector by traditional financial institutions,” she stated.

Last October, the Hong Kong government mooted the notion of introducing its own cryptocurrency regulation bill, whilst last month, Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission published a proposal for a regime for crypto exchanges due to come into effect in June.

Head of the fintech unit at the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), Elizabeth Wong, said in October 2022 that one of the initiatives is to permit retail investors to “directly invest into virtual assets.”

The drive by Chinese lenders “means a lot to us because it’s something you’d never expect at this point, even around the globe”, said Mr Sung Min Cho, founder and chief executive of beoble, a provider of a messaging system for decentralised applications, Bloomberg reports.

In addition, China Liaison Office representatives have been attending crypto gatherings in Hong Kong, according to a report published last month.