In a major contrast to major banks in the US and UK, the big four banks of Australia will not be barring their customers from engaging in the crypto trading business. Customers of the banks will be able to use the bank’s credits cards and other services to facilitate their trade, according to news from Australia’s ABC.
The Banks’ Decision
The Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) has rejected any dealings with exchanges or others who operate as digital currency dealers. This is because it distrusts them due to their largely unregulated nature. However, it has no problem with its customers using its credit cards to make purchases of cryptocurrencies.
A spokesman of ANZ told the media that the bank “does not prohibit buying digital or cryptocurrencies, or accepting them as a form of payment”.
Shortly after a spokesperson of Westpac, the second largest bank in Australia, said,
We currently have no restrictions on credit card use to purchase cryptocurrency.
The National Australia Bank (NAB) hinted that it might put some minor restrictions on some of the transactions made using its cards. This would help reduce the risk to customers if certain security flags were triggered. The Commonwealth bank has, however, remained silent on the matter. But, despite the silence, there has been no instance when the bank has denied any of its customers from using its services to purchase digital currency.
Tightening Regulations for Exchanges
Australian legislators are already preparing tougher regulations for exchanges that operate in the country. These exchanges will be placed under the country’s financial intelligence agency AUSTRAC.
While the stance of these banks might change in future, the statements they have made show they are not following blindly in the footsteps of decisions by banks in the UK and US. A few days ago, the UK banking giant Lloyds Group said that it would block the nine million users of its credit cards from being able to purchase digital currencies. The banking giant feared that if the prices continued to slide, it might end up with a huge debt from its customers. This ban will affect all of its subsidiaries in the country, namely MBNA, Bank of Scotland, and Halifax.
This move by Lloyds Bank was quite similar to moves made by major banking giants in the US on the weekend. The Bank of America, and JP Morgan Chase, which is the biggest bank in the US, have both banned the use of their credit cards for the purchase of digital currencies. The JP Morgan Bank ban came into effect on Saturday, while the Bank of America ban kicked in on Friday. Another major bank in the US, Citigroup, confirmed that it had placed a temporary freeze on all purchases made in digital currencies. However, it said it would review the policy as crypto markets evolved.
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