Australian banks unwilling to do business with crypto providers

Thursday 9 September 2021 12:47 CET | News

National Australia Bank and Westpac have rejected criticism that they are stymieing competition by refusing to do business with cryptocurrency providers.

Many of Australia's top financial institutions have not engaged with the sector, despite its huge growth in the past year, due to its high risks. The stock exchange ASX similarly has not allowed cryptocurrency-related listings, forcing some firms to seek public listings overseas, including on the Nasdaq.

The bank did not have a policy excluding crypto-related customers but did not service any of them and would only do so if it was profitable and the bank could tolerate the risks. Peter King, the chief executive of Westpac, said the anonymity of cryptocurrency made it hard to meet the bank's anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing requirements.

Local digital currency exchanges Bitcoin Babe and Aus Merchant on told a parliamentary committee exploring how to regulate the sector that none of the Big Four banks would do business with them. Singapore-based payments and remittances firm Nium also said that Australia had been the only country where it had been de-banked, out of 40 where it operates.

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Keywords: cryptocurrency exchange, DeFi, cryptocurrency, financial institutions
Categories: Banking & Fintech | Cryptocurrencies
Countries: Australia
This article is part of category

Banking & Fintech