UK high-street banks that are imposing limits and restrictions on their customers who are investing in cryptocurrency have been slammed as using “an outrageous, overreaching diktat” against account holders by the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory, asset management and fintech organisations.
The criticism from deVere Group’s Nigel Green follows reports that some of the country’s biggest banks have “cracked down” by applying daily limits for customers, restricting credit cards from making crypto purchases, banning customers from buying stocks of companies with Bitcoin exposure and, in some cases, temporarily freezing accounts.
Nigel Green says: “Your bank has no business telling you how or what to invest in, if what you’re planning to invest in is perfectly legal – which crypto is in the UK.
“This kind of control over people’s private, personal financial decision-making sounds like something from the pages of Orwell’s 1984 and goes against the values of Britain’s proud banking heritage.”
Most of the banks say that they are imposing the new restrictions to help protect customers and to try and keep their money safe.
“Of course, this is a noble ambition and part of a bank’s remit.
“However, the actions that they are imposing imply that potential illicit activity is unique to crypto and not the traditional financial system – which is, of course, complete nonsense.
“Why have they decided to ‘step up’ on crypto but not in other areas where their customers may or may not decide to invest?” says the deVere CEO.
“It appears that some banks are using an outrageous, overreaching diktat against account holders because they are anti-crypto over concerns it poses a threat to the power and influence of traditional banking, presumably.
“But, again, you should be free to do with your own money as you please – even if they disagree with it.
“What comes next? Will they move on to placing restrictions on those who invest in alcohol, tobacco or energy companies, or those who make political donations to parties they deem unsuitable, for example?”
He adds: “It’s an infringement on your privacy, rights, and ability to control your own money.”
The comments from Nigel Green come as institutional investors are once again increasing their exposure to cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. Michael Saylor’s MicroStrategy is amongst them.
MicroStrategy, whose primary focus is on developing and selling software that enables companies to analyse and visualise large amounts of data, using tools such as dashboards and reports, has bought 6,455 Bitcoins over the last five weeks, according to a recent filing with the US financial regulator, the SEC.
Institutional investors, like individuals, are investing in cryptocurrencies for various reasons. These include portfolio diversification, the potential for high returns, a hedge against inflation, and access to a new future-focused asset class.