Citigroup is finally coming around on cryptocurrencies.
The Wall Street giant now allows its richest clients to bet on crypto as part of a new digital assets group inside its wealth management unit.
This wealth management unit has been in the works ever since Citigroup formed the division earlier this year, and more recently, it has been focused on building out a series of wealth management hubs across Europe and Asia.
Under Citigroup’s crypto plan, the new group will help clients invest in cryptocurrencies, stablecoin, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), according to the memo.
The new effort will be led by Alex Kriete and Greg Girasole, who will serve as liaisons to “all other business groups at Citi who are expanding into this rapidly emerging space also.”
“They will be responsible for developing our future product capabilities, client delivery mechanisms, and thought leadership around all digital assets,” said Iain Armitage, Citigroup’s global head of capital markets for its private bank, and Rob Jasminski, who oversees the bank’s investment management arm globally, in the memo.
The bank is forming the unit as investor demand for crypto assets continues to soar and its rivals like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley also start offering crypto-related services to their clients.
The newly formed unit comes just weeks after the CEOs of the six biggest US banks were grilled by Congress over their ties to cryptocurrencies. At the time, Citigroup chief executive Jane Fraser said her bank was taking tentative steps in the crypto space.
“We proceed with great caution here,” Fraser said.