Australian banks ANZ and NAB will not approve retail crypto speculation

Executives at two of Australia’s “big four” banks have ruled out allowing retail customers to trade cryptocurrency on their platforms, wi...

Executives at two of Australia’s “big four” banks have ruled out allowing retail customers to trade cryptocurrency on their platforms, with reasoning that customers don’t understand “basic financial well-being”.

Speaking at the Australian Financial Review Banking Summit on Tuesday, Maile Carnegie, head of retail banking at Australian and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ), said that after speaking to retail customers she thought that “the vast majority of them don’t really understand the basic concepts of financial well-being.

“Are we really going to make it easier and less divisive and implicitly condone crypto speculation when they don’t understand basic financial well-being? The answer was no.

Carnegie said ANZ had considered a cryptocurrency product as early as 2017, adding that it was “glad we didn’t go too far” in the offering.

Also at the summit was Angela Mentis, Chief Digital Officer of National Australia Bank (NAB), who was asked if NAB would consider offering crypto trading. She replied “not in the foreseeable future and not for retail”, but added that there were already requests for block chain technology for institutional clients.

In March, ANZ became the first bank in Australia to hit one Australian dollar (AUD) pegged stablecoin called A$DC, and NAB is also preparing to launch its own stablecoin, which should be operational by the end of 2022.

The two big bank stablecoin projects will initially be offered to institutional clients looking for an on-ramp to crypto investments. A$DC’s pilot transaction, for example, was a transfer of AUD$30 million.

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) is the only major bank with plans to launch a retail crypto trading product. At the summit, its CEO, Matt Comyn, said that despite the difficulties, his “intention” was still to launch the service.

Related: Youngest Crypto Investors Resist Headwinds – And the Headlines

The ABC has revealed its intention to enable crypto trading in November 2021 by partnering with crypto exchange Gemini, with limited trials starting soon after. But in April news emerged that the Australian Securities and Investments Commission had blocked the launch with regulatory bureaucracyciting consumer protection concerns, prompting the ABC to begin planning a second pilot of the product.

At the end of May, the ABC presented its plans for the second pilot project on hold indefinitely and cut crypto trading to those in the first round of testing, with Comyn saying at the time that the bank was still waiting for regulatory clarity.

At the summit, Comyn added that if it were to proceed with the offering, the bank would seek to restrict transactions to those “who understand the risky asset class”.

In response to comments from banking executives, Ian Love, founder and CEO of crypto investment firm Blockchain Assets, tweeted:

“How are we going to reduce wealth inequality when our regulatory system is based on financial discrimination? It’s time to remove the ‘sophisticated investor’ discrimination rules advisors use to hide and allow everyone access to financial advice and services. »

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Newsrust - US Top News: Australian banks ANZ and NAB will not approve retail crypto speculation
Australian banks ANZ and NAB will not approve retail crypto speculation
Newsrust - US Top News
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