Cryptocurrency Industry Group In Poland Challenges Banks For Suspending Crypto Accounts

News | July 2, 2018 By:

The Polish Bitcoin Association (PBS) has accused a number of Polish banks of seeking to restrict competition by deliberately denying service to crypto firms and selectively closing accounts.

On June 26, the PBS filed a complaint with the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (OCCP) requesting that the regulator launch an investigation into the alleged restriction of competition. The complaint indicated “15 financial institutions” as refusing to open a bank account to 52 entities and “in other cases they closed banking accounts of 25 entities.” According to the complaint, mBank, the country’s fourth-largest banking group, allegedly “made nine refusals and closed three accounts.”

“The effects of the banks’ actions described clearly aim at removing virtual currency entities from the market, despite the fact that such activities are legal and conducted with dignity,” the PBS said. “In view of the above, action by the regulators is necessary, and this notice and [its] requests are fully substantiated.”

While it’s not yet clear if the OCCP has agreed to hear the case, the PBS asserts that the restriction of financial services to crypto companies has occurred without a legislative mandate, emphasizing that there is no prohibitive regulatory framework concerning the exchange of cryptocurrencies.

In February of this year, the Polish Council of Ministers announced that it has drafted a law for cryptocurrency regulation to bring cryptocurrencies in line with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financial guidelines. During the same month, the National Bank of Poland (NBP), the country’s central bank, admitted that they had secretly funded a $27,000 anti-crypto campaign about a man losing all his money after investing in cryptocurrencies. Last month, the Financial Supervision Authority (KNF) placed a tender order of 615,000 zloty ($173,000 USD) to conduct a social media campaign about the risks of investing in cryptocurrency.