HSBC, the largest bank in Hong Kong, has reportedly rolled out its inaugural cryptocurrency services.

According to a report published earlier today by Cointelegraph, local journalist Colin Wu says that HSBC, which is Hong Kong’s largest bank, has now opened the doors for its customers to engage in buying and selling of Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs listed on the Hong Kong exchange.

This marks HSBC as the pioneer bank in Hong Kong to offer such a service, thereby broadening the cryptocurrency exposure for local users. The cryptocurrency ETFs currently listed in Hong Kong encompass CSOP Bitcoin Futures ETF, CSOP Ethereum Futures ETF, and Samsung Bitcoin Futures Active ETF.

Simultaneously, HSBC has initiated the Virtual Asset Investor Education Centre. Before investing in any Virtual Assets-related products via the HSBC HK Easy Invest app, HSB CHK Mobile Banking app, or online banking, investors are required to review and acknowledge the educational materials and risk disclosures provided in the Virtual Asset Investor Education Center.

Per the Cointelegraph report, as of March 2022, HSBC Hong Kong reportedly had 1.7 million active mobile customers, with approximately 95% of all retail transactions of HSBC in Hong Kong being processed online.

This news follows reports in mid-June suggesting that the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) was pressuring major banks to accept crypto exchanges as clients.

As per a report from the Financial Times on June 15, which referenced three knowledgeable individuals, the HKMA had a meeting in May with UK-based firms and the Bank of China. During this meeting, the institutions were questioned about their reluctance to accept cryptocurrency exchanges as clients. On April 27, the HKMA sent a circular to banking institutions. The circular emphasized the importance of staying abreast with new market trends and encouraged these institutions to adopt a more proactive stance towards emerging sectors, including the cryptocurrency market.

Update at 5:02 p.m. UTC on 26 June 2023:

At 4:44 p.m. UTC on 26 June 2023, CoinDesk published a report that provided the following clarification about HSBC’s support for these three crypto ETFs:

HSBC’s customers in Hong Kong have in fact been able to trade such crypto investment products since they were listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX) in December, as the bank allows trading of all publicly-listed ETFs. Crypto ETFs debuted on the HKEX with the listing of the CSOP Bitcoin Futures ETF (3066) and CSOP Ether Futures ETF (3068). These were joined by the Samsung Bitcoin Futures Active ETF (3135) in January. Today’s development would appear to be that HSBC customers can now also access these ETFs from the bank’s investment platform.

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