Major Portuguese banks have begun to close or refuse to open accounts for crypto platforms such as exchanges, according to media reports. The move risks tarnishing the country’s image as one of Europe’s most crypto-friendly destinations, a haven for bitcoin enthusiasts.
Portuguese crypto companies hit by bank account closures
Portugal, a leading European crypto hub, is in danger of losing its appeal to crypto businesses and industry talent as some of its biggest banks are now are closing the accounts of companies operating in digital currency.
Last week, the nation’s largest listed bank, Banco Comercial Portugues and another major institution, Banco Santander, closed all of the accounts of Lisbon-based Criptoloja, Bloomberg reported, citing the co-founder. The exchange’s founder and CEO, Pedro Borges. The development follows the decision of two smaller banks to close the platform’s accounts.
No official explanation has been given in either of these cases, the crypto entrepreneur emphasized. Meanwhile, the state-owned bank Caixa Geral de Depositos and the Lisbon-based bank Big Jornal de Negocios has also begun to reject or close crypto exchange accounts, Jornal de Negocios revealed this week.
At least two other crypto brokers have been affected by bank account closures this year, the report notes. Noting that Coin has been unable to open accounts for months and rival Luso Digital Assets has closed several accounts, its executives complain.
Portuguese crypto businesses forced to open accounts outside the country
Anti-money laundering rules and know your customer are often the main reasons cited by lenders for refusing to work with crypto companies. Banco Comercial explains that it is obligated to report suspicious transactions that may result in the termination of banking services for some institutions. Banco Santander acted “in accordance with the perception of risk”, a representative said.
“We now have to rely on using accounts outside of Portugal to run the exchange,” admits Criptoloja founder Pedro Borges. That’s despite his company becoming the first to receive a license from the central bank last year. Criptoloja always informs authorities of suspicious activities and follows all compliance procedures, he pointed out. Mind the Coin’s Pedro Guimaraes added:
Although there is no official explanation, some banks just told us they do not want to work with crypto companies. It is almost impossible to start a crypto business in Portugal right now.
Three out of five coin trading platforms authorized by Banco de Portugal closed their account this year. While it is unclear whether the trend will affect other companies in the industry, it could be a sign of a harsh environment in Portugal, lured crypto enthusiasts with zero percent of it Tax on crypto profits, affordable cost of living, and mild climate.
Do you expect the bank account closure to affect other crypto businesses in Portugal? Let us know in the comments section below.
Image credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons, RaffMaster
Disclaimer: This newspaper only gives true information. It is not a direct offer or solicitation to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement for any product, service or company. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal or accounting advice. Neither the Company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods, or materials. goods or services mentioned in this article.