Société Générale subsidiary becomes the first fully-licensed crypto provider in France

Forge will have a right to custody digital assets, to purchase and sell them for legal tender, and to trade them against each other. 

Forge, a subsidiary of Société Générale — the third-largest bank in France — became the first company to obtain the highest access license for providing crypto services in the country — a prerequisite for numerous service activities (PSAN). The provider will have a right to custody digital assets, to purchase and sell them for legal tender, and trade them against each other.

Local media paid attention to the update in the register of the French stock market regulator, the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), on July 19. As the Société Générale representatives state in the press release: 

“Accreditation represents the highest level of regulatory certification currently possible for digital asset transactions.”

So far, around 90 companies have already been on the AMF list of licensed providers. For example, the subsidiary of Société Générale’s powerful competitor, Crédit Agricole, got approval for digital custody in June 2023. However, Forge became the first to receive the highest approval for numerous services from the regulator. As the French radio station Business FM stated, such stringent requirements for this level of approval give an obvious advantage to large traditional banks over smaller crypto companies. 

Société Générale has been quite active in the crypto sector, issuing euro bonds on the Ethereum blockchain and security tokens on the Tezos blockchain, and proposing Dai stablecoin loans in exchange for bond tokens. In April 2023, Forge launched EUR CoinVertible, a euro-pegged stablecoin for qualified institutional clients. The new digital asset is only available to investors onboarded by Societe Generale through its existing Know Your Customer and Anti-Money Laundering procedures.

While France remains one of the friendliest European jurisdictions to crypto, the local arm of Binance has been the subject of a preliminary investigation conducted by the Judicial Investigation Service of Finance under the direction of the specialized interregional jurisdiction of Paris.

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