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London-based DAG Global to apply for UK banking license to serve crypto firms

Image by DAG Global

Tue, 11 Feb 2020, 11:00 am UTC

London-based startup DAG Global wants to be the “first digital assets merchant bank” in the U.K and is applying to obtain a full banking license to achieve its goal, the Financial Times reported.

On its website, DAG says that it aims to deliver “next-generation merchant banking solutions to the underserved fintech, digital and SME sector, by re-establishing the historic and trusted connection between bank and client to promote dynamic and sustained future growth.”

The company first applied for a license in 2018. However, following the failed attempt, it reportedly engaged in constructive dialogues with the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). DAG intends to resubmit its application next month with plans to offer bank accounts to crypto firms starting next year.

"DAG is currently applying to the PRA to obtain a full UK banking license. This will allow us to provide a full suite of classic products and services across digital and fiat currencies and asset classes," the company said.

Speaking with the publication, DAG CEO Sean Kiernan said the regulators have not raised any red flags so far.

The company emphasized that the current lack of crypto-friendly banks is one of the biggest problems facing SMEs that are trying to access the digital asset ecosystem. Most traditional banks are hostile to crypto companies due to the lack of regulation and fears over money laundering.

DAG Chief Commercial Officer Stephanie Ramezan revealed a growing demand for the company's services as crypto businesses have to face a lot of challenges to meet even their basic banking needs in the UK.

"We’re being approached on a daily basis by corporates in the space because people are fed up with what they’re faced with to meet basic business banking needs at the moment," he said.

CoinDesk reported that DAG wants to address this issue and join other financial institutions, such as Clearbank and its partner BCB Group, that are officially licensed and willing to serve the local crypto ecosystem.

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