Union Bank of Philippines to Offer Crypto Trading and Custodial Services
Philippines’ Unionbank to Offer Crypto Trading and Custodial Services
Union Bank of the Philippines (UBP), also known as Unionbank, plans to offer cryptocurrency trading and custodial services, Bloomberg reported Thursday.
Unionbank is one of the largest universal banks in the Philippines with over $15 billion in assets under management (AUM).
Cathy Casas, head of the bank’s blockchain and application programming interface group, explained that the average Filipino investor currently holds about 1% to 2% of their personal assets in cryptocurrency, like bitcoin.
She added that if the markets are “stable,” investors would hold between 3% and 5% in 5 years.
The Unionbank executive estimates that about 5% of the local population has dabbled in cryptocurrency.
“It’s a way to future-proof our banking business.”
On Thursday, Metaco, a provider of security software and infrastructure for the digital asset ecosystem, announced that Unionbank is implementing its digital asset management services.
The bank first announced that it was piloting a crypto custody service in August last year, noting at the time that crypto assets are here to stay.
The central bank warned that cryptocurrencies could “pose a danger to the financial system” citing their vulnerability to illicit activities like money laundering and terrorist financing.
“We are making efforts to educate our clients also via social media, making sure that they are safe.”
Unionbank is one of the licensed cryptocurrency exchanges approved by the central bank.
The bank launched its own stablecoin, PHX, in 2019 to provide rural banks in its network with easier access to payments and remittances.