Santander, Crédit Agricole asset arm receives French crypto custody license

CACEIS Bank, the asset servicing arm of Crédit Agricole and Santander, has received a crypto custody license in France, according to the regulator’s website on June 20. 

CACEIS claims to be a European leader in asset servicing, offering services from clearing and fund administration to middle office outsourcing for asset managers, insurance companies, brokers, pensions and real estate funds, among other clients. As a crypto custodian, CACEIS will store users’ private keys, thereby increasing security for institutional clients.

According to the bank’s website, CACEIS had 4.6 trillion euros ($5.06 trillion) in assets under custody as of December 2021, while assets under management stood at 2.4 trillion euros ($2.6 trillion).

The French stock market regulator, the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), requires companies planning to offer custody services to apply for registration. Other crypto businesses, including digital assets trading platforms, are also subject to the registration requirement.

The timing of CACEIS’ registration allowed the company to avoid new, stricter regulations. A new set of rules for digital assets providers in France will take effect in July, demanding firms to comply with tighter Anti-Money Laundering measures, such as ensuring customer funds are segregated, and providing more detailed disclosures about risks and conflicts of interest.

CACEIS Bank registration with the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF). Source: AMF

These new rules do not apply to CACEIS and the more than 60 crypto firms registered with the AMF. Companies that have registered with the AMF will be governed by the European Union’s Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) legislation that comes into effect next year.

Among the AMF-registered crypto companies is Binance. According to a report published in the French newspaper Le Monde, Binance’s local arm has been under preliminary investigation since 2022. The exchange reportedly failed to comply with Know Your Customer procedures and possibly engaged in money laundering activities, according to the Paris Prosecutor’s Office.

France has been tightening rules on crypto businesses in recent months. One of the most recent developments is a bill restricting local crypto companies from using influencer marketing. Penalties for failure to comply with the law include up to two years imprisonment and a 300,000 euro ($328,000) fine, with the possibility of an influencer ban as well.

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Written by Ana Paula Pereira on 2023-06-22 11:56:38.

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