When applying to Swiss financial institutions, companies specialized in cryptocurrencies or blockchain technologies are often rejected or refused access to important financial services, according to an article in “Tages Anzeiger”. “It is true that the Swiss banks have fallen behind,” commented André Wolke, CEO and co-founder of the Zug-based blockchain company Validity Labs, in the article. Bernd Lapp of the share economy platform Swarm City agreed, saying that it was “as if the Swiss financial institutions want to prevent crypto companies from flourishing here”.
Many companies rejected by Switzerland are now tending towards neighbouring Liechtenstein, with more than 100 blockchain firms already settled in the country, according to lawyer Thomas Nägele. Liechtenstein’s financial institutions offer such companies support. For example, Bank Frick offers its customers both account services and support in capital procurement via ICOs or exchange between different cryptocurrencies.
“We are very open to services in the blockchain business,” commented Mauro Casellini, Managing Director of Bank Frick, in the article. He added that the bank valued its due diligence obligations and had implemented “strict standards”. The Swiss Bankers Association (SBV) has “recognized the problem” and is “working hard” to overcome it, according to the article. SBV spokesperson Michaela Reimann explained that a task force was developing new processes and standards to assess the origins of assets in cryptocurrencies.