(Bloomberg) -- Deutsche Bank AG has applied for regulatory permission to operate a custody service for digital assets such as crypto currencies.

“We’re building out our digital assets and custody business,” David Lynne, who runs the lender’s commercial banking unit, said at a conference Tuesday. “We just put our application into the Bafin for the digital asset license,” he said, referring to Germany’s securities watchdog. 

The move is part of a wider strategy to increase fee income at Deutsche Bank’s corporate bank, Lynne said. It also mirrors efforts at Deutsche Bank’s investment arm DWS Group to expand income from offerings linked to digital assets. 

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Deutsche Bank’s corporate bank divisions first hinted at plans to introduce digital asset custody in late 2020 but never specified when it planned to start the service. The division was run by Stefan Hoops at the time, with Lynne taking over a year ago when Hoops joined DWS as chief executive officer.


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