A unit of Standard Chartered is setting up a joint venture to establish a cryptocurrency brokerage and exchange platform in Britain and Europe, while HSBC said it has no plans to offer digital currencies to customers.

Eng-Kwok said DBS’ position as one of the biggest wealth managers in Asia and its expertise in originating deals in capital markets would help it attract users and grow trading volume.

The move comes at a time when DBS, like other banks, is looking to boost fee-based income as net interest income decreases amid low interest rates.

Eng-Kwok said the bourse hopes to list at least half a dozen security tokens by end-2022.

Singapore’s central bank brought crypto businesses under a new regulatory framework that came into effect in January 2020.

DBS’ brokerage arm has received an-principle approval under the new regime, which will allow it to directly support asset managers and companies to trade in digital payment tokens through the bourse. The Singapore Exchange has a 10 per cent stake in the bourse.

“Having mainstream banks helps foster an environment where settlement risk is minimal and there are safeguards in place for custody of user deposits and security of transactions,” said Ganesh Viswanath-Natraj, assistant professor of finance at Warwick Business School in Britain.

Last week, Binance, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, said it will restrict its services in Singapore days after the central bank told it to stop offering payment services.

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