Crypto firms setting up in Hong Kong ahead of a new licensing regime for crypto exchanges in June have reportedly found some unexpected allies in the region — Chinese state-owned banks.
According to a March 27 report from Bloomberg, Chinese banks, including Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, the Bank of Communications Co. and Bank of China Ltd., have either started offering banking services to crypto firms in Hong Kong or made inquiries with crypto firms, according to “people with knowledge of the matter.”
One source claims that a Chinese bank sales representative even visited a crypto firm’s main office to pitch banking services. This is all despite an ongoing crypto ban in China.
Cointelegraph reached out to Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, the Bank of Communications Co., and Bank of China Ltd for further comment, but did not receive a reply before publication.
Asked for comment, Julia Pang, head of banking relations at Hong Kong-based crypto trading platform OSL, told Cointelegraph that her firm welcomed “growing interest from Chinese banks in engaging with the regulated crypto industry.”
“This development is encouraging for both the industry and the broader ecosystem, as it demonstrates a maturing understanding of the crypto sector by traditional financial institutions,” she said.
A spokesperson for the firm said they couldn’t currently provide a comment on whether the firm had been approached by any state-owned Chinese banks.
In October last year, the government of Hong Kong floated the idea of introducing its own bill to regulate crypto, and Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission on Feb. 20 released a proposal for a regime for cryptocurrency exchanges, set to take effect in June.
According to a Feb. 20 report, it is also understood that representatives from the China Liaison Office have been frequenting Hong Kong crypto gatherings.