In a bid to redefine its identity and make way for expansion, Swiss cryptocurrency bank Seba just rechristened itself as Amina Bank.
What’s in the Name?
The major announcement regarding Seba Bank AG’s name change to Amina Bank AG came in November 30. According to its CEO, Franz Bergmueller, the rebranding is to distance itself and prevent the ensuing confusion between the Swiss institution and SEB Bank in Sweden.
The new nomenclature departs from the original with roots tracing back to the first four letters of its founder’s name, Sebastien Merillat. Meanwhile, the name “Amina” was derived from “transamination.”
Pulling out the dictionary reveals that “transamination” is a word in biochemistry meaning “transfer of an amino group from one molecule to another, especially from an amino acid to a keto acid.” However, in an interview with the renamed company’s boss simplified the term to refer to the “transfer of one compound to another” to fit the firm’s mission to bring together the elements of traditional, digital, and crypto banking in its services.
A further search online shows that “Amina” is a feminine name of Arabic origin pointing to safety, honesty, and faithfulness. Although this was not mentioned by the company, it could definitely play in favor of the image it wants to portray to clients.
Starting off as Seba in 2018, the bank aimed to capitalize on the growing demand for a regulated custodian and manager for different kinds of digital assets, including cryptocurrency and NFT. In the post-pandemic era of 2022, it immediately set its sights to the extension of its financial services in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region and got approval from the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM).
Fast-forward to the present, Seba partnered with the Swiss St. Galler Kantonalbank (SGKB) to pave the way for the latter’s integration of digital asset custody and brokerage in its offerings. Last November, Seba acquired a license from the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) to tap into the Asian market. To reflect its vision for further global expansion, Seba finally adopted the name Amina.
“As we look forward to 2024, our ambition is to accelerate the growth of our strategic hubs in Switzerland, Hong Kong, and Abu Dhabi, and to continue our global expansion,” said Bergmueller. “Currently, we keep our focus on three regions: Switzerland, Abu Dhabi and APAC, including Hong Kong and Singapore.”
Amina Bank is headquartered in Zug Switzerland with other hubs in Abu Dhabi, UAE; Central, Hong Kong; Marina, Singapore; and Mumbai, India.