- Banks, hesitant to enter the crypto space, have been pushed to respond to growing client demand.
- Sources told Insider JPMorgan gave advisors a green light to execute client-requested crypto trades.
- It’s the first large bank to expand crypto trading access beyond just ultra-wealthy clients.
JPMorgan gave its financial advisors the green light to give all of its wealth management clients access to cryptocurrency funds, making it the first major US bank to do so, Insider has learned.
The bank, which has been making a significant push to grow its $630 billion wealth management business, told advisors in a memo earlier this week that they can now take orders to buy and sell five cryptocurrency products, four from Grayscale Investments and one from Osprey Funds, effective July 19.
According to a source directly familiar, the move applies to all JPMorgan clients seeking investment advice, including its bank’s self-directed clients using its commission-free Chase trading app, mass affluent clients whose assets are managed by financial advisors under JPMorgan Advisors, and ultra-rich clients serviced by the private bank.
JPMorgan’s advisors can only execute “unsolicited” crypto trades, meaning advisors cannot recommend the products but are allowed to buy or sell on the behalf of a clients’ request. The funds JPMorgan has approved include Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust, Bitcoin Cash Trust, Ethereum Trust, and Ethereum Classic vehicles, as well as Osprey Funds’ Bitcoin Trust, per the source.
The move marks a milestone in the bank’s digital asset offerings, after its CEO, Jamie Dimon, threatened in 2017 to fire employees who traded bitcoin. While Dimon has since softened his sentiment toward crypto, he said in May that he was still not a supporter of the asset class despite growing client interest in it.
JPMorgan’s asset and wealth management chief, Mary Callahan Erdoes’, told Bloomberg that many of the bank’s clients view crypto as an asset class and want to invest in it.
Rival banks like Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Bank of America have not given retail wealth clients direct access to crypto products. Morgan Stanley was the first big bank to begin offering wealthy clients — those with at least $2 million in invested assets — access to bitcoin funds, through a partnership with Galaxy Digital in April, CNBC reported.
Goldman Sachs started offering crypto futures trading to institutional clients and hedge funds last month. It told CNBC in March it was close to offering bitcoin and other digital assets to its wealthiest clients in March.