CACEIS Bank, the asset servicing arm of Crédit Agricole and Santander, has obtained a crypto custody license from France’s Financial Markets Authority (AMF). With the new license, CACEIS Bank is now authorized to provide digital asset custody services. The AMF conducts various checks on companies before granting licenses, including checks on the competence of managers and beneficial owners, as well as compliance with anti-money laundering and terrorist financing regulations. CACEIS Bank’s registration was approved just in time, as stricter regulations on digital asset service providers will take effect in France in July. The new regulations require service providers to implement stronger anti-money laundering measures, hold customer funds in segregated accounts, and provide more detailed disclosures about potential risks and conflicts of interest.
CACEIS Bank is among the few firms that hold French crypto licenses, with others including Binance, which has been authorized to offer digital asset exchange services, custody, fiat-to-crypto, and crypto-to-crypto trading since May 2022. As an EU member state, all crypto firms registered with the regulator in France will also be considered authorized under the EU’s new Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) rules, which will come into effect in the second half of 2024.
CACEIS Bank is known for serving large institutions such as asset managers, pension funds, private equity firms, and insurance companies. As of the end of 2021, the bank had €4.6 trillion ($5.06 trillion) in assets under custody and €2.4 trillion ($2.6 trillion) in assets under management. The bank has not yet disclosed how or to whom it plans to offer its new crypto custody services.
The acquisition of a crypto custody license by CACEIS Bank is a significant development in the European crypto industry. With the new license, the bank can offer digital asset custody services to the institutional clients it serves, expanding its business operations. The approval of the license by the AMF is also a signal that France is becoming a more accepting regulatory environment for crypto-related businesses. With the new and stricter regulations set to take effect soon, France is poised to become a more secure and regulated market for crypto and digital asset services.