DBS Private Bank launches trust solution for cryptocurrencies

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SINGAPORE – DBS Private Bank has launched a trust solution for cryptocurrencies via the bank’s wholly-owned trust company DBS Trustee to allow its private banking clients to invest, custodise and manage digital assets.

This trust offering applies only to bitcoin, ether, bitcoin cash and XRP, which are the four cryptocurrencies hosted on the DBS Digital Exchange. The members-only exchange was launched in December last year, and is accessible to institutional and accredited investors.

The new trust solution comes as private banks are adding services to cater to rising interest for crypto assets among high-net-worth clients.

Joseph Poon, group head DBS Private Bank, said in a press statement on Friday (May 14): “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.

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

With the trust solution, critical information about clients’ digital assets, such as access instructions and passwords, will be kept confidential after their passing, DBS said.

This is because trusts are kept out of the probate process and do not normally become part of the public record. This will save clients’ beneficiaries from having to deal with potential complexities that could arise during the probate process, which include jurisdictional estate taxes, the bank said.

As at the first quarter this year, the DBS Digital Exchange holds $80 million in assets under custody, with trading volumes at $30 million to $40 million. It currently has 120 clients.

Amid growing demand for crypto exposure, Morgan Stanley became the first US bank to offer wealthy clients access to bitcoin funds in April. Goldman Sachs, too, has announced plans to offer bitcoin and other digital assets this quarter. UBS, the world’s largest private bank, is also said to be exploring offering crypto investments to its wealthy customers.

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