Maerki Baumann, the 87-year-old Swiss private bank, is all set to embrace blockchain to boost its growth. Recently the Zurich based bank altered its growth strategy. IT flushed out all the undeclared overseas assets and headed back to serve the Switzerland and Germany banking markets.
The bank is currently facing the challenges of growing its $8.2 billion assets in the smaller market. In addition to that engaging younger (under 40) clientele is also posing as a roadblock. According to Stephan Zwahlen, CEO Maerki Baumann, the intense competition is leading to margin erosion. To overcome these, the bank decided to look at disruptive technologies in 2018 to penetrate the competition.
As the news started making rounds, more than 400 clients typically aged 30-40 years approached the bank. Stephan stated these were the kind of clients the bank had been trying to approach over a decade using the traditional methods.
The first phase of the blockchain project was approved by the board in early March. This would include initiating business accounts for innovative start-ups raising capital using the STOs. Subsequently, the bank will also be offering fund-raising advice to the start-ups.
Furthermore, in 2020, the bank will develop partnerships with digital asset specialists to support the trading services of cryptocurrencies. In the final leg, the bank plans to offer crypto investment advice to the private banking clients. Despite embracing blockchain, the bank might not bring cryptocurrencies into its books because of the regulatory issues and the price volatility.
There are other banks like Swissquote, Vontobel, and Falcon private bank that are partnering with crypto experts to provide trading options to their clients.