ANZ Bank Settles Debanking Case With Australian Bitcoin Trader

Bitcoiner Allan Flynn has settled his first complaint with the Australian and New Zealand banking group (ANZ) for being unilaterally de-b...

Bitcoiner Allan Flynn has settled his first complaint with the Australian and New Zealand banking group (ANZ) for being unilaterally de-banked in 2018 due to his activity as a digital bureau de change (DCE).

The settlement comes 20 months after the Canberra resident first complaints filed with the Civil and Administrative Court of ACT against ANZ.

In the regulation, the ANZ noted that it has closed its accounts due to the money laundering and terrorist financing (ML / FT) risk it perceives among exchanges. He also conceded that the act of removing Flynn from the bank could “have constituted unlawful discrimination contrary to Sections 7 (1) (p) and 20 of the Discrimination Act 1991”.

However, ANZ denied any responsibility, saying that while it had “discriminated against Mr. Flynn by closing his accounts, this discrimination was reasonable in the circumstances and therefore legal.”

The ANZ statement also admitted that she closed her account after detecting DCE activity without contacting Flynn for more information on her activities. Flynn argues that such discrimination is illegal under Canberra law which States that “It is illegal for someone to discriminate against you because of your profession, occupation, occupation or vocation.”

Although that first battle is over, he will take Westpac Bank to court next Thursday for a second complaint.

Westpac closed its bank account in 2019 citing the same ML / FT concerns regarding its status as a crypto trader.

Flynn told Cointelegraph that the deal is important because it will be the first time that banks will be forced to say definitively whether they will serve Bitcoin traders. “All I ask is a good start,” he said.

Flynn plans to cite human rights violations committed by banks as discriminating against him and against him. He believes this is the right way to go in calling for more regulations and hopes that a victory might force policy changes nationally or perhaps even internationally.

“A victory against the banks could have broader implications for discrimination against the professions.”

He said a court ruling will benefit from widespread public scrutiny, while prior agreement could help change policy due to a partial admission of guilt. He is concerned, however, that a loss could see more unbanked Bitcoiners.

Related: New Australian crypto legislation likely in 2022, Senator Bragg told NFT Fest

His case is far from unique. Last month, Rebecca Schot-Guppy, CEO of Fintech Australia, told the Senate that until 91 members of his organization had been dismantled without apparent reason or means of appeal.

The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Center (AUSTRAC) has published increasingly precise regulations since 2015 on how ELDs should work and be dealt with by law.

Importantly, AUSTRAC has was clear that anti-money laundering / counterterrorism laws do not require banks to close accounts of crypto traders.

Flynn believes the behavior of ANZ and Westpac suggests that “banks don’t want competition” and that if DCEs were allowed to operate unimpeded, they “would break the speed limit and overtake traditional banks.”