Christian Wienberg and Niclas Rolander, 18 June 2021
Danske Bank A/S says it won’t lift a ban on trading Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies on its platforms, despite growing interest from clients.
Denmark’s biggest bank pointed to a lack of transparency and regulation in crypto trading, in a statement on its website. It also warned of volatile and “opaque” pricing, and noted that the carbon footprint of mining cryptocurrencies is at odds with Danske’s goal of doing sustainable banking.
“We recognize that there is a significant global market for crypto currencies and that many customers find cryptocurrencies interesting,” the bank said. “However, as a financial institution, Danske Bank for several reasons maintains a very cautious approach towards cryptocurrencies.”
Danske, which is still being investigated for money laundering in the U.S. and Europe, is particularly sensitive to the risk of crypto assets being used for financial crime. Meanwhile, Bitcoin and its peers are growing increasingly popular as several corners of Wall Street provide services that allow customers to trade them.
The head of Sweden’s financial regulator, Erik Thedeen, warned earlier this week of a “significant risk” that crypto assets may be used for criminal purposes. “Financial firms need to ask themselves whether they really want to invest in or encourage the growth” of such assets, especially when they have “no obvious valuable legitimate use,” he said.