Banks in Portugal stop providing services to cryptocurrency exchanges, citing “risk” as justification i.e. mainly due to “risk management” concerns. This has caused a number of Portuguese banks to cancel accounts associated with cryptocurrency exchanges.
The central bank of the nation appears to have granted the financial institutions its approval.
Portugal has gained a reputation as a “crypto haven” in recent years due to the absence of capital gains taxes on earnings from the cryptocurrency industry. But during the past few months, it seems that both the government and the financial industry have been more eager to regulate cryptocurrency in accordance with other EU countries, citing, as we said, “risk” as justification.
At least four local cryptocurrency exchange accounts have been frozen, according to the news sources Expresso, Jornal de Negocios, and Bloomberg. These banks include the powerhouses Banco Comercial Portugues (BCP) and Banco Santander, as well as Caixa Geral de Depósitos, BiG, and Abanca.
The central bank of Portugal, which regulates local cryptocurrency trading platforms, has registered all of the exchanges. Three of the exchanges’ identities were made public: Criptoloja, Mind The Coin, and Luso Digital Assets. A fourth exchange requested media anonymity.
Despite adding that he was “watching the problem,” Bank of Portugal Governor Mário Centeno was cited as saying that financial institutions were free to act as they saw fit.
Additionally, the central bank was cited as stating:
“The decision to open or continue to offer bank account services depends in such cases on the risk management policies that each banking institution puts into place.”
As part of its oversight of exchanges, the Bank of Portugal makes sure that platforms combat money laundering and terrorism financing. The development of additional regulations for the cryptocurrency industry is still pending.
In an interview with Bloomberg, BCP stated that it was its responsibility “to notify the competent authorities whenever it observes suspicious transactions,’ which may even lead to the termination of banking agreements with specific businesses.”
Meanwhile, a Santander representative clarified that the company typically behaves “according to its sense of risk” and that choice regarding whether to close, open, or preserve accounts depend on “many criteria.”
CriptoLoja was cited as saying that firm had always followed the necessary money laundering procedures and added:
“We now have to rely on using accounts outside Portugal to run the exchange.”
It would appear that the mood has soured and that the government is more willing to regulate the crypto market, at least more than before., using the “inherent risk” of crypto as justification and the Banks in Portugal as chess pieces in a far grander strategy.
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