After opening its very own institutional-grade digital asset exchange, Singapore-based DBS Bank is eyeing the expansion of a similar trading offering, but this time, catering to retail investors. It is expected to launch by the end of 2022.
DBS’ Upcoming Retail Digital Assets Trading Desk
DBS CEO Piyush Gupta believes that the expansion plans will take a lot of work, including potential fraud and others, but expects the launch of the platform by the year-end. On a recent earnings call, the exec stated,
“We are starting the initial work to expand it beyond the current investor base [of accredited investors]. Lots of work to do with suitability and anti-fraud… we should have something by the end of the year.”
The CEO also mentioned that DBS will focus on convenient accessibility to the retail-focused digital asset trading platform for its existing customer base in the first half of the year. As of now, the users are required to contact a banker via a call to place an order for crypto over the phone. But the bank aims to make the process online and self-service by facilitating instant online deposits and transactions without depending on intermediaries.
Commenting on the same, the exec added,
“What happens is that you’ve got 24/7, but the customers still need to call and speak to bankers. The first order is to make it all online, make it self-service, make it instant and make sure the internal processes are robust to be able to support that.”
Gupta also said that the bank expects to considerably boost its crypto trading platform shortly after its launch. He has not divulged any additional details on the upcoming trading desk yet.
DBS Books Strong Profits
DBS had first started the digital assets trading desk, DDEx, in early 2020, enabling professional investors to trade cryptocurrencies.
The bank also recorded a full-year trading volume of around $819 million for 2021. Currently, the platform offers exchange services with four fiat currencies – Singapore dollars, USD, Hong Kong dollars, and Japanese Yen, and four cryptocurrencies – Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Ripple (XRP). It also plans to add more digital assets and tokens this year.
In October 2021, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) greenlighted DBS Vickers, the brokerage arm of DBS Bank.