31,000 Nordea employees have been banned from trading in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies due to high risks
“The risks are seen as too high, and the protection is insufficient for both the coworkers and the bank,” a Nordea spokeswoman told Reuters.
Nordea also raised concern that trade in various cryptocurrencies remains unregulated: “As an investor you lack protection against illicit business practices and money laundering.”
Sweden’s Financial Supervisory Authority is taking a back seat in a decision-making process. “Every institution must decide on the details of their internal regulations specifying the rules for their employees’ investments and trading,”spokesman Peter Svensson told Bloomberg, in response to questions about Bitcoin guidelines
The hands-off approach may surprise some who associate the Nordic region, and Sweden in particular, with a more activist stance toward regulation. In other parts of the world, authorities are cracking down on Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies like it amid concerns its wild price swings pose a threat to financial stability.
While Nordea’s regulator isn’t stepping in, the bank’s decision to ban Bitcoin trading for its employees may have brought Europe’s finance industry closer to issuing a guideline on the matter.
The European Banking Federation have yet to impose any regulation surrounding Bitcoin. However, a spokesperson for them, Raymond Frenken, has also weighed in on the topic of banks banning investment in cryptocurrency. Bloombergreports:
Meanwhile, another Scandinavian bank has also expressed skepticism about the cryptocurrency market. Danske Bank A/Sis the second largest Nordic bank. They too are discouraging employees from trading digital currencies. However, they are yet to make a decision on whether a similar blanket ban is required. Danske spokesperson Kenni Leth told the news source via email:
“We’re sceptical toward cryptocurrencies and are advising our employees not to trade them, but we don’t impose an actual ban… We’re currently analysing the situation and time will tell whether there’ll be a formal ban.”