JPMorgan is the latest Wall Street firm to give in to investor demand for cryptocurrencies, allowing its wealth management clients to invest in the product as of last week, according to news reports.
The firm sent a memo to financial advisors permitting them to trade in five cryptocurrency products on behalf of wealth management clients effective July 19, Business Insider writes. Four of the products are from Grayscale Investments and one is from Osprey Funds, according to the web publication.
What’s more, the products are open to all JPMorgan wealth management clients, including the ultra wealthy investors served by the private bank, mass affluent clients served by financial advisors under JPMorgan Advisors and even self-directed customers on the firm’s commission-free trading app, Insider writes, citing a person familiar with the move. The person adds that advisors can only execute unsolicited orders but can’t recommend the products, according to the web publication.
Spokespersons for Grayscale and Osprey Funds confirm to Insider that their funds are being offered to JPMorgan’s clients.
JPMorgan’s move would be a sharp reversal from just four years ago, when JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon said that Bitcoin was “a fraud” and that he would fire anyone trading it. Dimon still said that the cryptocurrency wasn’t “his cup of tea” as late as last year, according to Coindesk.
Reports emerged in April, however, that JPMorgan was getting ready to offer clients access to a fund from Bitcoin firm NYDIG serving as the custody provider as soon as this summer.
According to Forbes, JPMorgan had already allowed access to the NYDIG-custodied fund to private wealth clients prior to rolling out access to the funds from Osprey and Grayscale.
Last week, Mary Callahan Erdoes, JPMorgan Asset and Wealth Management CEO, made it clear that the firm was moving in the direction of offering clients access to digital assets.
“A lot of our clients say, 'That's an asset class, and I want to invest,’ and our job is to help them where they want to invest," she told Bloomberg.
JPMorgan is among the pioneers among its Wall Street competitors in offering bitcoin to wealth management clients. Only Morgan Stanley is reportedly already offering access to bitcoin funds, but only for those with $2 million or more with the firm.
Wells Fargo recently announced that it considers cryptocurrencies a viable investment asset, as reported. UBS is still considering various options to offer access to digital assets, and news emerged last month that Citigroup is forming a new digital assets group in its wealth management division.
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