Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Wells Fargo Begin Offering Spot Bitcoin ETFs to Clients, Report


Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch and Wells Fargo’s wealth management arm have reportedly begun offering some clients access to spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Other investment platforms that offer some clients access to spot bitcoin ETFs include Fidelity, Charles Schwab, Robinhood Markets, and UBS.

Major Banks Embrace Bitcoin ETFs

Bank of America’s investment arm, Merrill Lynch, and Wells Fargo’s wealth management unit have begun offering some clients access to SEC-approved spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs), Bloomberg reported Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter. Clients must have brokerage accounts and specifically request the bitcoin ETFs.

A representative for Wells Fargo confirmed to the news outlet that spot bitcoin ETFs have been available for unsolicited purchases since they were approved by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), either through Wells Fargo Advisors or the bank’s online Wellstrade platform. Bank of America declined to comment.

The SEC approved 11 spot bitcoin ETFs on Jan. 10 and most of them began trading the next day, including Grayscale’s bitcoin trust (GBTC) which converted from a trust into an ETF. On Wednesday, 10 spot bitcoin ETFs shattered inflow and trading volume records. Blackrock’s Ishares Bitcoin Trust (IBIT) led the way, breaking its own personal records multiple times this week.

Several platforms, including Fidelity, Charles Schwab, and Robinhood Markets, began offering spot bitcoin ETFs to clients shortly after they launched. Fidelity also offers its own spot bitcoin ETF, the Fidelity Wise Origin Bitcoin Fund (FBTC).

UBS Group AG is also offering some SEC-approved spot bitcoin ETFs to certain wealth management clients with brokerage accounts on an unsolicited basis, according to Bloomberg. In addition, there are reports that Morgan Stanley is evaluating whether to add spot bitcoin ETFs to its platform. Recently, Cason Group, an investment platform for financial advisors with $30 billion in assets under management, approved four spot bitcoin ETFs on its platform.

Meanwhile, Vanguard Group stated in January that its platform will not offer spot bitcoin ETFs. “While crypto has been classified as a commodity, it’s an immature asset class that has little history, no inherent economic value, no cash flow, and can create havoc within a portfolio,” Vanguard’s global head of ETF Capital Markets explained.

Source : Bitcoin News by Kevin Helms / Mar 1, 2024 logo


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