Banking Giants Crédit Agricole, Santander Seek to Provide Crypto Custody Under French Registration

A subsidiary co-owned by Crédit Agricole and Santander has registered as a digital asset service provider in France. The registration of Caceis, a company that specializes in offering financial services to institutional investors, allows the two major European banks to tap into the crypto market.

Crédit Agricole Asset Management Unit Obtains AMF Registration in France

An asset servicing business owned by France’s second largest bank, Crédit Agricole, and Spain’s biggest bank, Santander, has registered with the French financial markets authority, Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) as a digital asset service provider (DASP).

The registration, granted by the AMF earlier this week, will allow the entity, Caceis, to provide custody services for digital assets, including cryptocurrencies. At the end of 2022, the firm had 4.1 trillion euros ($4.51 trillion) in assets under its custody.

The move adds a major traditional financial services group to the growing number of crypto companies registered by the French watchdog, Reuters noted in a report. The DASP list already includes subsidiaries of other big players in the French financial market such as Societe Generale and AXA.

Caceis was established in 2005 through the merger of the asset management activities of Crédit Agricole and Caisse d’Epargne, a French cooperative banking group. With a 69.5% stake, Crédit Agricole is its majority owner while Santander has a 30.5% stake.

France has been open towards the crypto industry. Among the companies it registered as DASPs is , the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. Binance has been under pressure from regulators, particularly in the United States where it’s engaged in a legal battle with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

In May, French officials invited crypto companies seeking to escape the current crackdown in the U.S., which also affected leading U.S. digital asset exchange Coinbase, noting that France’s legal framework offers more regulatory certainty.

“If American players want to benefit, in the very short term from the French regime, and from the start of 2025 from European arrangements, clearly they are welcome,” AMF Secretary General Benoît de Juvigny was quoted as saying. He was referring to France’s regulatory regime for crypto service providers known as PSAN and the EU’s recently adopted Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) rules which should be implemented in the next 18 months.

Despite the generally positive attitude, however, a press report revealed that Binance’s entity in France was recently targeted in an investigation for suspected money laundering and illegal provision of digital asset services. A spokesperson for the exchange said the company had an “on-site visit” by regulators, clarifying this is “part of regulatory obligations to which all financial institutions must adhere.”

Do you expect other major banks to attempt to obtain French registration as crypto service providers? Tell us in the comments section below.

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