Top Australian banks refuse to deal with crypto firms

Top Australian banks refuse to deal with crypto firms

Two of Australia’s largest banks have totally ignored criticism surrounding their choice of not doing business with crypto firms.

The National Australia Bank (NAB) and Westpac were told that their decisions could restrict the industry’s growth.

NAB Chief Executive Ross McEwan told a regular parliamentary hearing that "it's one of the emerging issues that we are looking at - what should our relationship be, if at all, with cryptocurrency," according to Reuters.

Many of the country's top financial institutions have refused to engage with the crypto sector despite its immense growth over the past year. An Australian Bitcoin trader reportedly received rejections recently from over 90 banks across the country, as the act of “debanking” (discontinuation of services to a client) grows more rampant in the country.

There are speculations that the banks are refusing to do business with crypto companies to buy some time to position themselves for market advantages.

The Australian stock exchange ASX has also rejected cryptocurrency-related listings, forcing some firms to seek public listings overseas.

However, McEwan said crypto is an “emerging issue” they are looking at, and they are equally weighing the risks involved.

We have to look at where does cryptocurrency go, along with the reserve bank and regulators. And what’s the risk inside the bank of dealing with cryptocurrency providers as well.

The Chief Executive of Westpac, Peter King, added that there are too many risks with crypto’s anonymity. It becomes “very hard” to align with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing rules.

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