Cryptocurrency Ban Implemented By Nordea Bank

News, Regulation | January 26, 2018 By:

Nordea Bank has banned its employees from owning bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies due to the “unregulated nature” of the crypto space. It is also reportedly restricting its employees from learning about the crypto economy.

Nordea is a Nordic financial services group operating in Northern Europe. Nordea unified its headquarters to be in Stockholm, although it operates across both the Nordic and Baltic regions with over 1,400 branches. Nordea serves 11 million private and 700,000 active corporate customers. The group also operates an Internet bank, which has more than 5.9 million online customers doing more than 260 million payments per year. The bank has over 31,000 employees.

According to a Nordea spokeswoman, the ban is set to go into effect on February 28. “The risks are seen as too high and the protection is insufficient for both the co-workers and the bank,” she said. The spokeswoman added that employees who currently own cryptocurrencies will not be forced to sell them, although recommended to do so.

Another Nordea spokeswoman, Afroditi Kellberg, confirmed the move, saying that the bank has the right to establish policies that apply to its staff.

“It is widespread practice across the banking industry to restrict the personal account dealing of staff to prevent them taking positions in speculative investments, or which might expose them to a risk of financial loss and therefore impact their financial standing,” said Kellberg. “Nordea therefore, like all banks, has the right to set out policies in this area that apply to its staff.”

After the bank’s announcement, Danish finance and trade union figures have threatened legal action against the bank ‎for allegedly enacting a company policy which forbids its employees from owning or trading in cryptocurrencies.‎

Danish Association of Lawyers and Economists (Djøf) chief consultant Niels Mosegaard said it is clear that employees should not speculate on something that is criminal. But that’s not the case for bitcoin, as it seems at this time. He added that a ban is being made without a legal basis.

Danish Financial Federation chairman Kent Petersen said the ban was an overreaction and that they would consider legal action if a member of either organization was fired as a result of owning bitcoin.

“We would consider it a legal offense against the individual,” said Petersen. “After all, in Denmark there is still a degree of freedom to invest if it is not a risk for the company you are employed in.”