Two Aussie Banks Refuse to ‘Endorse’ Retail Speculation on Crypto

There are ‘big four’ banks in Australia and executives of two of them have clearly stated that they have no intention of permitting retail clients to engage in crypto trading on their platforms. According to the executives, this is primarily because the customers do not have a clear understanding of their financial well-being. On Tuesday, the Financial Review Banking Summit was conducted in Australia, and one of the executive of the leading banks, MaileCarnegie talked about the matter. She works in the retail banking sector of ANZ, which is the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group.

She said that they had spoken to retail clients and had come to the conclusion that most of them do not have a proper understanding of concepts of financial well-being. She said that endorsing crypto when their customers did not have a proper understanding would definitely not be a smart move for them. She further disclosed that since early 2017, ANZ had been thinking about a crypto product, but added that she was pleased that they had decided not to dive into that particular offering. National Australia Bank’s (NAB) chief digital officer, Angela Mentis was also in attendance at the same event.

She was also questioned if NAB would consider providing crypto trading services to its clients. Her answer was along the same lines as that of Maile Carnegie. Mentis said that they were not considering offering this option to retail traders for the foreseeable future. However, she did disclose that they had already come up with blockchain technology applications for catering to their institutional customers. ANZ had introduced a stablecoin back in March named A$DC, which was pegged to the Australian Dollar (AUD) and it became the first bank in Australia to do so. NAB is also preparing to introduce its own stablecoin, which is expected to be launched by the end of this year.

Initially both banks plan on offering their stablecoin projects to institutional clients only, who are looking to make investments in the crypto space. For instance, the pilot transaction of the A$DC stablecoinhad been a transfer worth 30 million AUD. The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) is the only one of the big four banks in the country that has plans of introducing a retail crypto trading product. Matt Comyn, the CEO of CBA, was also in attendance at the summit. He said that even though they had encountered a lot of challenges, they had full intentions of doing so.

His bank had first disclosed their plans of offering crypto trading services last year in November when they had entered into a partnership with crypto exchange Gemini. They had launched limited trials soon enough. However, the CBA had to conduct a second pilot after there was news in April that the launch of the product had been bogged down by red tape because of the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC), as it was concerned about consumer protections. Last month, the bank had put their plans on hold and the CEO had stated that they wanted to see some regulatory clarity.