Crypto doesn’t have a place in private banking today: Pictet

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Pictet Group’s Asia division CEO Tee Fong Seng said at a summit that while the crypto asset class continues to mature, now might not be the time for private bankers to invest in the sector.

Crypto is an industry that is here to stay, even as part of its growing pains remains glaringly scary for some players. Matters are indeed not helped by the recent events that have seen several crypto companies go bankrupt, and wild volatility does not help either.

Because of such concerns, Swiss wealth manager the Pictet Group is warning that this might not be the time to dive into crypto – at least not for now.

Crypto asset class can’t be ignored – but,

In remarks made at a panel on the sidelines of a Bloomberg summit in Asia, an executive of Swiss firm Pictet highlighted why the asset manager is not keen on getting into crypto.

According to Tee Fong Seng, the CEO of Pictet’s Asia subsidiary, crypto’s growth as an asset class cannot be undone nor can it be “ignored” going forward. However, the company believes that crypto as it is – with some of the concerns above- does not have ‘a place’ in the private banking sector.

Crypto will be an asset class that we cannot ignore, but today I don’t think there is a place for private bankers and for private bank portfolios,” he said.

But despite this outlook, the firm, like many others, appears to be keenly monitoring developments in the crypto market. For clients, this means looking at when to start offering services such as trading.

He notes that a look at the crypto market’s performance over the past two years shows it’s possible to “make a lot of money.” But at the same time, with the huge volatility, it’s also very easy to “lose a lot of money,” he observed.

The question is, when do we bring the clients into the picture,” he posed as he pointed out that the Geneva-based asset manager had a team on the lookout for opportunities.

Concerns aside, mainstream companies push into crypto

A few years back, the best that came from financial institutions and other major mainstream companies was a blatant dismissal of crypto.

Many continue to sit on the fence, but many more have made a move – more so amid crypto’s last bull market. Today, global giants such as Fidelity Investments, BlackRock, Charles Schwab and Julius Baer Group have ventured into digital asset products – including crypto-focused exchange-traded funds, custody services and even trading to their clients.

The partnership between Coinbase and BlackRock announced today, and which targets institutional clients, is a good example of the increased interest for crypto exposure.

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