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Initium: A bank only for fintechs

The Initium Group wants to specialize in fintech and crypto companies. At least here in Germany, where the company plans a larger site, this should not be easy.

Fintechs often have no access to banking services these days. In any case, according to the CEO and founder of the Initium Group, Daniel Spier. Because traditional banks would want to do no business with companies from the digital sector due to their naturally more conservative risk analyzes, said Spier on Tuesday before the media in Zurich.

This is exactly what the Initium Group wants to become: a global bank, geared towards digital companies right from the beginning, be it fintech, blockchain or crypto companies. For them, they want to provide all the services that a bank can offer its corporate clients: from simple company accounts, through access to the clearing system, to the provision of company cards, but also assistance in changing cryptocurrencies. However, the administration of crypto assets does not seem to be an issue yet.

Initially announced as “New Bank Group”, Initium will apply for various banking licenses beginning this spring, starting in the Principality of Liechtenstein. According to Spier, the company wants to gain access to the European Economic Area. This will be followed by banking licenses in Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Singapore and Israel, precisely in the regions where most fintech and blockchain startups are romping.

275 million francs

And in these countries, the company also wants to open branches. While about ten people are supposed to work in Liechtenstein, because the local bank license requires the company to be on site and to carry out part of the business decisions from there, an office with about 25 people is to be created in Switzerland. The same applies to the other locations, plus a back office, which wants to operate the company but in a country with lower personnel and rental costs.

Initium wants to finance itself through a mixture of private and institutional investors, as well as a security token offering (STO), quasi a crypto IPO. Overall, the company wants to collect 275 million francs, in three rounds of financing at 50, 100 and 125 million. Until the summer, when STO starts, the first 50 million should be collected.

The state technology partner

Spier, who has been involved in the financial industry for more than 20 years, with a position at the Swiss bank Credit Suisse and most recently as CEO of IDT Financial Services, describes himself as a classic banker. He is also very traditional and certainly not up to date in terms of blockchain and crypto.

That’s why he was looking for a technology partner who could take care of the STO in addition to the digital infrastructure: Swisscom Blockchain – the Swisscom subsidiary that made a surprising change of boss two weeks ago, via which finews.ch too reported. However, this could not participate in the company, but only provide support, said Spier.

Competitors?

Initium was unrivaled, he continued at the launch event. But his mission to provide fintech companies with access to banking services is strongly reminiscent of Seba Crypto, which came on stream last fall.

As finews.ch reported at the time, the bank’s stated goal is to build a bridge between the new crypto finance world and traditional banking. And Seba also applied for a banking license from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (Finma) last autumn.

And apart from Seba, the fintech and crypto market in Switzerland is at least highly competitive. Two weeks ago, finews.ch listed which crypto banks are on the rise in this country. It will not be easy for the Liechtenstein bank Frick, the mortgage bank Lenzburg, Falcon Private Bank and Vontobel. And of the almost 200 fintechs that Switzerland now counts, probably most, if not all, have already found a bank. Whether the company will succeed with its global approach will be shown.

Originally published at https://www.finews.ch/news/banken/35236-initium-fintech-bank-schweiz-liechtenstein-uk-singapur-israel


Also published on Medium.

Published inFintech

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