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UnionBank (Philippines) secures BSP nod to offer crypto trading

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Aboitiz-led Union Bank of the Philippines announced on Tuesday it has secured the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) thumbs-up to operate a cryptocurrency or virtual assets platform.

In a statement, UnionBank said it secured a Certificate of Authority from the central bank to operate as a virtual asset service provider (VASP).

This makes the bank the first and only universal bank in the Philippines to offer virtual asset exchange services.

With the full VASP license from the BSP, Union Bank said it can now extend virtual asset exchange services to a broader base of customers through its app.

These virtual asset exchange services previously were accessible only to randomly selected users of the app through a limited virtual asset license, it said.

The new feature is set to roll out gradually in the final quarter of 2023.

It will enable Union Bank customers to directly buy and sell Bitcoin (BTC) through the app, providing a convenient and secure platform for trading cryptocurrencies through a well-established and trusted financial institution, the bank said.

This will also allow them to manage both traditional banking and digital assets within a single mobile platform, it added.

“This milestone represents a significant leap forward for Union Bank as we continue to revolutionize the banking landscape. By obtaining this license, we are not only paving the way for even more groundbreaking opportunities but also enhancing our digital capabilities and further transforming the way our customers interact with us,” said UnionBank president and CEO Edwin Bautista.

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