Wells Fargo is the next major banking and financial services provider to join the mix of offering crypto assets. The news comes after last week’s report that Swiss-based institution UBS Group AG was looking to make a similar move.
Wells Fargo’s Change In Perspective
Just a few years ago, Wells Fargo was banning credit card crypto charges. This week, the firm’s wealth and investment division is anticipating the roll-out of an actively managed crypto strategy. The investment offering will be available to qualified customers as early as next month.
The biggest U.S.-based banks continue to adapt with the changing landscape; Goldman Sachs, Citi, Morgan Stanley and others have continued to be in talks of engaging, or actively engaging, in new crypto offerings. Wells Fargo holds nearly $2T worth of assets.
In the same vein with the aforementioned UBS Group AG announcement, initial investment offerings are anticipated to be available to the firm’s high-value client accounts.
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What’s The Word?
In an interview with Business Insider, Wells Fargo Investment Institute Darrell Cronk shared some of the firm’s perspective. Cronk shared that the investment strategy is anticipated to be available around mid-June and has been in the works for months. Cronk added, “we think the cryptocurrency space has just kind of hit an evolution and maturation of its development that allows it now to be a viable investable asset”. Cronk described crypto as an “alternative investment” that required deep due diligence.
The statement comes just six months after company representatives noted that the bank was not recommending crypto to clients because it didn’t have the infrastructure to support the asset in client accounts. Broader crypto success seems to have changed the tune for the company, as Wells Fargo has reportedly been working on a “professionally managed solution” for several months, and is now wrapping up the manager research and due diligence process.
Wells Fargo has warmed up to the idea of having crypto assets as part of a diversified portfolio | Source: BTC-USD on TradingView.com
Cronk was still wary, however, particularly around customer regulations and protections. “There’s a whole element of consumer protections and regulations that have to still evolve with the changing landscape. So we’re not without risk, it’s just that we think there could be a viable investable option for those clients who show an interest”, Cronk stated. With this line of thinking, Cronk added that the company does not currently see digital assets as their own “asset class with a strategic allocation to it in every portfolio”, but rather for qualified investors to have a “nice diversifier to portfolio holdings”.
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