Swiss private bank Falcon is now accepting direct transfers of selected cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, for both private and institutional clients. The bank claims the move re-positions it as the front runner among financial companies with a positive outlook on crypto.

Clients can now transfer cryptocurrency directly to and from segregated Falcon wallets, and convert them into pounds, euros or another fiat currency.

Falcon’s move “reaffirms its first-mover position in blockchain banking by accepting direct transfers of selected cryptocurriences,” a statement from the bank has said. “This new offering makes blockchain assets fully bankable.”

By the book

Owing to its questionable long-term viability and prior links to illegal activity, cryptocurrency remains off-limits for the majority of the banking world.

However, Falcon asserts that it has developed a process to ensure full Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Client (KYC) compliance.

Either through a relationship manager or via online banking, Falcon’s clients will place trading orders and can view and track their transactions in portfolio statements and tax reporting documents. Falcon also provides secure storage through its proprietary custody solution, which has been reviewed by independent providers.

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Leading the way

Thanks to the awkward coexistence that the mainstream banking world shares with crypto, Falcon has been able to portray itself as a pioneer with its positive outlook on digital currency, being the first private bank to allow its clients to invest in cryptocurriences in 2017.

Falcon Private Banks’s CEO, Martin Keller, said: “Falcon has once more seized the opportunity to demonstrate its expertise as a market leader in the digital assets space by merging traditional banking with innovative financial solutions.”

The cryptocurrency currently accepted for direct transfers by Falcon are Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ether and Litecoin.

With Vontobel last week announcing the launching of a platform enabling other financial companies to buy and sell crypto on their clients’ behalf, Falcon may have felt a sense of urgency in reclaiming the high ground in this burgeoning crypto-war between the two Swiss banks.