As News.Bitcoin.com learned two weeks ago, one of Europe’s largest banks, Nordea, will enact a company-wide policy to effectively ban its employees from owning or trading in cryptocurrency. Citing risks and perhaps looming regulation, the bank decided to act preemptively.
Also read: Whistleblower Details Big Bank’s Plans to Prohibit Employees Owning Bitcoin
Nordea Bank Bans Bitcoin for Employees
Most of the 31,000 Nordea Bank employees by Spring won’t be allowed to own or trade in cryptocurrency, according to a bank-wide policy to be enacted at the end of next month. One of Northern Europe’s largest banks, Nordea has had a tenuous relationship with bitcoin over the last few years. Its present executive team is on record as either being dismissive or openly hostile to decentralized digital currency.
Barely two weeks ago, a company whistleblower reached out to News.Bitcoin.com to explain the bank was indeed considering such a move, upsetting some employees. This week the bank confirmed to mainstream media sources such as Reuters and Bloomberg the policy was indeed being enacted.
Nordea spokeswoman told Reuters by email, “The risks are seen as too high and the protection is insufficient for both the co-workers and the bank.” Employees who hold the currency as of the ban won’t be asked to sell them. The bank is, however, recommending they do exactly that, sell.
The bank explained to Bloomberg, “Given these high risks, and in line with our role in the banking industry to maintain high standards of conduct, Nordea is not supportive of staff investing in cryptocurrencies,” citing the standard worries about volatility and supposed criminal usage.
Clients and Rivals
Nordea was forced to address the issue of advising clients who’re interested in the crypto boom, insisting, “it’s important to emphasize that it is not something we recommend our customers to invest in. Just like every other bank trading platforms, Nordea Investor provides access to trade all securities listed on, for example, Nasdaq,” meaning “self-services customers can purchase cryptocurrency-related products through the platform, but it is important to emphasize that it is not something we recommend.”
Without much fanfare, large Northern European rival, Danske Bank, has done roughly the same sans complete prohibition: “We’re skeptical toward cryptocurrencies and are advising our employees not to trade them, but we don’t impose an actual ban. We’re currently analyzing the situation and time will tell whether there’ll be a formal ban.” As for its clients, “Due to lack of maturity and transparency in the various cryptocurrencies, we have decided not to provide trading of such securities on our various investment platforms,” Danske clarified.
Still, some experts view such seemingly drastic moves as really just banks hedging against inviting regulators to crackdown on the industry. Nordea’s ban, then, could be seen as less a blow to cryptocurrency and more a boon to self governance.
Whatever the case, Nordea’s exact way to monitor its employees was not revealed.
What do you think of bank employees being banned from crypto? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Pixabay, Nordea.
Not up to date on the news? Listen to This Week in Bitcoin, a podcast updated each Friday.