Several major banks are contemplating taking the first step to enter the cryptocurrency market after seeing an upsurge in interest from clients. Wells Fargo & Company WFC is one of the latest global banks to prod upon the option of providing digital currency investments through a professionally-managed fund, after getting better regulatory clarity on the same.
The president of Wells Fargo Investment Institute (WFII), a registered investment advisor and wholly owned subsidiary of Wells Fargo Bank, Darrell Cronk noted about such plans to the Insider in an interview published on Wednesday.
These endeavors are being headed by the head of Global Manager Research, a division of WFII, Greg Maddox. The professionally-managed solution is expected to be added to the bank’s platform around mid-June 2021.
Cronk believes the cryptocurrency arena is maturing and its development permits it now to be a feasible investable asset. However, he also discussed the evolving nature of the asset which demands highly-efficient maintenance. Cronk also explained about “plenty of risks” around cryptocurrency investing, including operational, regulatory and technology failures. Nonetheless, he believes the entire element of consumer protection and regulations also need to evolve with the changing landscape of cryptocurrency.
So, strategic allocation to the currency as a standalone asset class is not what Wells Fargo advocates. Instead, cryptocurrency will be added as an alternative investment through professionally-managed funds, as a beneficial diversifier to portfolio holdings of qualified investors.
The WFII Global Investment Strategy Team believes long-term supply and demand trends in cryptocurrency will further aid the industry’s growth, apart from bearing potentiality to reduce its price volatility.
Wells Fargo’s move follows its peer Morgan Stanley’s MS endeavor to start offering clients access to three bitcoin funds, as reported this March. Earlier in February, The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation BK became the first global custody bank to announce plans to form a new unit — Digital Assets — to help its institutional clients hold, transfer and issue digital assets. Earlier this month, it was reported that Citigroup C too is considering taking its first steps in the cryptocurrency market, thanks to the spike in client interest.
Shares of Wells Fargo have rallied 75.6% over the past six months, outperforming the 45.6% rally of the industry it belongs to.
Wells Fargo currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see tthe complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
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