April 4, 2024
Bitcoin ETF

Morgan Stanley and UBS Compete for First Spot Bitcoin ETF Bank

The race to integrate spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) into investment banks’ portfolios has intensified, with Morgan Stanley and UBS competing for the coveted title of being the first wirehouse to fully approve the products.

Competition Heats Up

Crypto enthusiast Andrew (AP_Abacus) sparked speculation on X, reporting on April 3 that Morgan Stanley aims to outpace UBS in greenlighting the Bitcoin ETF. Andrew cited internal notes from Morgan Stanley, suggesting that the bank may make its move into Bitcoin ETFs just days ahead of its rival.

According to Andrew, the global banking sector is abuzz with discussions about the addition of Bitcoin ETFs, framing it as a competitive race among financial giants.

Bloomberg ETF expert Eric Balchunas further fueled the anticipation, indicating that both Morgan Stanley and UBS are still in a holding pattern, engaged in a compliance game of chicken. Balchunas suggested that once one bank takes the plunge, the others will swiftly follow suit.

Speculation Amidst Silence

Despite the mounting speculation, neither Morgan Stanley nor UBS have confirmed the addition of Bitcoin ETFs to their platforms. Andrew had previously reported that UBS plans to incorporate Bitcoin ETFs between April 8 and April 12.

This latest development follows Andrew’s earlier claim that Morgan Stanley is poised to approve Bitcoin ETFs within the next two weeks, a rumor yet to be verified by the bank.

Historic Debut Amid Skepticism

Spot Bitcoin ETFs made history with their trading debut in the U.S. on January 11, but accessibility remains limited for customers of major banks like UBS and Citi. Banks have cited various reasons, including suitability for “aggressive investors” and concerns about managing turbulent market conditions.

Despite the ETF approval, skepticism persists among some major banks. Goldman Sachs’ chief investment officer, Sharmin Mossavar-Rahmani, reiterated the bank’s stance, stating, “We do not think it is an investment asset class” and affirming their disbelief in crypto.

Image from Wallpapers.com

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