Crédit Agricole’s Santander asset arm gets French crypto custody license.

CACEIS Bank, which is the asset servicing branch of Crédit Agricole and Santander, has obtained a license for crypto custody in France, as reported on the regulator’s website on June 20.

CACEIS claims to be a leader in asset servicing in Europe, providing services such as clearing and fund administration to asset managers, insurance companies, brokers, pensions, real estate funds, and other clients. As a crypto custodian, CACEIS will store users’ private keys, thereby increasing security for institutional clients.

As of December 2021, CACEIS had 4.6 trillion euros ($5.06 trillion) in assets under custody and 2.4 trillion euros ($2.6 trillion) in assets under management, according to the bank’s website.

The Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), which is the French stock market regulator, requires companies that plan to offer custody services to apply for registration. Other crypto businesses, including digital assets trading platforms, are also subject to the registration requirement.

The timing of CACEIS’ registration allowed the company to avoid new, stricter regulations. A new set of rules for digital asset providers in France will take effect in July, which require companies to comply with tighter Anti-Money Laundering measures, such as ensuring customer funds are segregated and providing more detailed disclosures about risks and conflicts of interest.

These new rules do not apply to CACEIS and the more than 60 crypto firms registered with the AMF. Companies that have registered with the AMF will be governed by the European Union’s Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) legislation that comes into effect next year.

Among the crypto companies registered with the AMF is Binance. According to a report published in the French newspaper Le Monde, Binance’s local branch has been under preliminary investigation since 2022 for failing to comply with Know Your Customer procedures and possibly engaging in money laundering activities, according to the Paris Prosecutor’s Office.

France has been tightening rules on crypto businesses in recent months. One of the most recent developments is a bill that restricts local crypto companies from using influencer marketing. Penalties for failing to comply with the law include up to two years imprisonment and a 300,000 euro ($328,000) fine, with the possibility of an influencer ban as well.

Magazine: Best and worst countries for crypto taxes — Plus crypto tax tips

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