Denied: Bitcoin Suisse AG Application for Bank License Refused by FINMA

Bitcoin Suisse AG has been denied by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) in its application for a banking license.  Bitcoin Suisse submitted an application for a Swiss banking license in July 2019.

According to a statement by FINMA, the bank license application was refused due to “indications of weaknesses in the money laundering defence mechanisms.”

Bitcoin Suisse AG has reportedly informed FINMA that it is withdrawing the application for a banking license at this time. FINMA said it is therefore terminating the licensing procedure.

In a blog post, Bitcoin Suisse stated:

“the Board of Directors has decided to withdraw the application for the time being but reserved its decision to re-apply. The application process has shown the need for further reviews of the anti-money laundering framework and potential enhancements. Bitcoin Suisse has initiated the respective projects which, however, need more time than anticipated.”

Bitcoin Suisse is a crypto trading and staking platform that reports over CHF 3 billion assets under custody. Bitcoin Suisse clients are said to have committed a total of over USD 1 billion in staked crypto assets in the seven staking currencies supported through Bitcoin Suisse’s custodial staking service.

Last month, Bitcoin Suisse said that volumes and demand have continued to grow in Q1 2021 and thus it increased its default bank guarantee from an AA-rated Swiss bank by another CHF 30m to now CHF 110m. Bitcoin Suisse said it protects and covers public on-balance sheet deposits 100%.

FINMA notes that Bitcoin Suisse is not supervised by the regulator but is subject to anti-money laundering provisions.

FINMA states that its responsibility for unregulated companies focuses on “opening investigations and, where necessary, taking corrective measures where there are indications that supervisory law has been breached through the unauthorized activities being carried out without the required licence.”

Bitcoin Suisse expects 2020 revenues to be in excess of CHF 45 million and net profit for 2020 of around CHF 15 million.

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