South Korea-based Kookmin Bank (KB) is set to become the first bank in the country to offer crypto investment products to individual investors.
Kookmin Bank Prepares to Offer Crypto Investment Products
Kookmin Bank KB, one of the leading banks in South Korea, announced on February 21 that it has established a Digital Asset Management Preparatory Committee to identify its product and strategy capabilities for digital assets and artificial intelligence mutual funds.
The bank is preparing to launch cryptocurrency exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and futures products. The committee said it will also address risk and compliance issues for mutual funds.
These plans of Kookmin Bank were approved by Honggun Kim, Head of KB’s Index Quant Management, in the official statement from the bank. Honggun Kim made the following statements in his statements on the subject;
“We will set up a virtual asset-themed equity fund, etc. We plan to publish periodicals as well.”
KB Financial Group, the country’s largest bank, has a total of $520 billion in assets as of September 2021, according to research platform MacroTrends.
Aimed to Provide Guarantee for Major Investments
Current plans are to launch a crypto investment index fund and a fund that uses an Outsourced Chief Investment Officer (OCIO), also called outsourced investment management, to provide guarantees on key investments. This OCIO fund, which is planned to be launched, can also be used for pensions.
Such OCIO will include Grayscale and Fidelity Asset Management, each offering crypto mutual funds. Fidelity Canada launched a spot Bitcoin ETF last December, but no such product has yet been approved in the US.
By launching a new mutual fund for its clients, KB is entering a market that is increasingly open to crypto and immutable token (NFT) investments. KB’s biggest rival, Shinhan Bank, has dedicated a portion of its mobile banking app to help customers manage their NFT collections on the country’s leading blockchain, Klaytn.
KB is now following in the footsteps of Singapore-based bank Megabank DBS by announcing new retail crypto investment products. DBS Bank CEO Piyush Gupta announced on February 14 that the bank will begin work on scaling its crypto operations in 2022.