RnF Finance Limited has applied for a credit institution license in Malta and is expected to offer banking services to crypto and blockchain companies in the region. This is according to OK Group’s investment arm, OK Blockchain Capital Limited.
OK Blockchain Capital Limited recently announced that it is one of the leading investors in RnF Finance Limited, a Maltese based company. RnF has subsequently applied for a credit institution license with the Malta Financial Services Authority as it looks to offer banking services to individuals, crypto and blockchain related companies in the region. This is a move to ensure that the ‘Blockchain Island’ become more open for companies and high-net-worth cryptocurrency traders and investors to come in.
The CEO and founder of RnF, Roderick Psaila, is popular within the country’s financial landscape having spent roughly 3 decades there so far. He is credited with starting multiple banks over the past 10 years and was recently the CEO of AgriBank – a Malta-licensed credit institution.
During an interview with CCN, Psaila stated that when the bank becomes fully operational, it will provide full banking services to its clients. He stated that “The Bank shall engage into four main business streams: Offer banking services to corporates; Lending; Private Banking and Wealth Management. We are targeting big corporates and private clients and the mentality would be that no industries are vetoed beforehand but each application will be treated on a case by case basis.”
He further added that the bank will enable crypto exchanges and companies issuing security tokens to receive financial services similar to what other companies are receiving so long as they follow the procedures put in place.
Over the next few years, RnF is expected to invest heavily in blockchain technology and artificial intelligence (AI). Investing in these emerging technologies will make it possible for them to get more clients and offer them services in a more efficient manner. It would also ensure that they conduct a risk-based compliance assessment of their services.
Commenting on this latest development, Ms. Tian Ying, Founding Partner of OK Blockchain Capital Limited, stated that “We are delighted to partner with Roderick and his team of bankers in this exciting project in Malta, and are excited to be involved in this new banking venture on Blockchain Island.”
Mr. Tim Byun, Chief Risk Officer & Head of Government Relations of OK Group also commented on this move, stating that “Malta has been a first mover to comprehensively regulate the blockchain industry, and we are excited to be involved in this new banking venture with RnF Finance Limited. Malta’s sound regulatory framework and support for new industries will cultivate many more opportunities on Blockchain Island.”
Crypto banking to solve traditional banking problems
The establishment of a crypto-based bank would make it easier for crypto companies in the region to operate. Recently, crypto and blockchain companies have faced a torrid time dealing with local banks as they reluctant to even open accounts for what they view as risky clientele.
Traditional banks in the region continue to shun crypto companies despite calls by the chief executive of the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) Joseph Cuschierito change their stance. Last month, Cuschierito stated that “It is abundantly clear that Malta needs more banks to participate in the development of our economy, particularly in the digital and FinTech space.”
He added that I am not happy with the current situation on various fronts and doing nothing is not an option for me. Our banking strategy and policy review to be published next year will address this challenge in a holistic fashion and we will consult with all stakeholders before any decisions are taken.”
From all indications, RnF will be granted the license and it is possible that more financial companies in the region will apply for crypto banking licenses as they shift away from traditional banking. In other countries, similar steps are being made, e.g. German-based payment startup Bitwala now offers crypto banking services.