New York-based bank Signature Bank and the government of Bermuda have issued a joint press release announcing the full services Signature Bank will now offer to the country's FinTech firms. Starting right away, the bank will be accepting banking services applications from Bermuda-licensed FinTech companies.
David Burt, the premier of Bermuda, stated in the press release that the government has been "working diligently to promote Bermuda as the destination of choice for FinTech companies." In April 2018, Bermuda's House of Assembly passed the Companies and Limited Liability Company (Initial Coin Offering) Act. The legislation created a regulatory framework for ICOs on the island and was passed just hours after the country signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with cryptocurrency exchange Binance. In the MoU, Binance agreed to donate up to $15 million worth of funding for university-level educational programs related to blockchain development, as well as for investments in Bermuda-based FinTech companies.
In May 2018, furthering the country's strategy to encourage the growth of its FinTech industry, Burt laid out a series of developments and new partnerships. A second MoU was signed with blockchain accelerator Medici Ventures, a subsidiary of Overstock.com, in which the company pledged to:
"a) make Bermuda its laboratory for the most leading edge blockchain innovations coming out of its stable of a dozen blockchain firms; b) create at least 30 jobs in Bermuda over three years; c) as soon as practicable, develop a Security Token Trading Platform in Bermuda … and d) focus its social contribution in Bermuda on nurturing a proper pipeline for creating basic, intermediate, and advanced software development engineers."
Along with the MoU, Burt announced that Standard & Poor's Global Ratings elevated Bermuda's credit to positive, affirming the country's "A+ long-term sovereign credit … as well as its A-1 short-term ratings and its AA+ transfer and convertibility assessment."
In yesterday's press release, Signature Bank's vice chairman John Tamberlane stated that the bank was impressed with Bermuda's moves to promote its FinTech companies' growth and the improvements made to the country's blockchain tech regulation. According to the release, 66 FinTech companies have already been incorporated in Bermuda, with Signature Bank set to fill the void where the country's own banks have been reluctant to take on the risk of dealing with digital assets.
The release also highlights Signature Bank's own work with Signet, a blockchain-based digital platform set to be offered by the bank. Approved by the New York Department of Financial Services in December 2018, the system allows funds "to be transferred in real-time between two commercial clients of Signature Bank, eliminating any dependence on a third party."