JPMorgan: Global Regulation for Banks to Help Clients Invest in Cryptocurrencies is Urgently Needed


Debbie Toennies, managing director and head of Regulatory Affairs at global investment bank JPMorgan Chase & Co., talked about global cryptocurrency regulation applicable to banks Tuesday at an event held by the International Swaps and Derivatives Association.

The JPMorgan executive said that new rules are urgently needed to give banks certainty in handling crypto assets on behalf of large customers who seek exposure in this asset class.

A growing number of large institutions, including hedge funds, are interested in investing and gaining exposure to the crypto asset class. According to Wells Fargo, cryptocurrency has entered the “hyper adoption phase.”

Noting that some very large players had asked JPMorgan to hedge their exposures to crypto assets, Toennies opined:

I do think we need a globally consistent regulatory framework. It’s important that we get to a solution as quickly as possible.

Global banking regulators at the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision are discussing rules for banks to deal with crypto assets. In June last year, the Committee proposed dividing crypto assets into two groups and regulating them based on their market, liquidity, credit, and operational risks to banks. However, final rules are not expected until at least next year.

Toennies revealed that the global investment bank has been talking to different jurisdictions about “interim treatment” for crypto assets while waiting for the Basel Committee to establish applicable rules.

The JPMorgan head of Regulatory Affairs detailed:

The real risk to all of our economies is that if we don’t get to a solution that allows banks to engage with our clients in a hedged way, this activity will go outside the regulatory perimeter, and I am concerned about financial stability.