An Australian bitcoin trader has filed a lawsuit against two of the country’s largest commercial banks, accusing them of systematic discrimination when they closed its accounts at short notice.
Allan Flynn is demanding AU $ 250,000 ($ 193,000) compensation from banks ANZ and Westpac for closing its accounts immediately after they were opened, the Australian Financial Review reported on January 18.
Flynn, who operates a bitcoin registered exchange (BTC), has instituted proceedings against both banks in the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal. The trader claims to have suffered unlawful discrimination, with no fewer than 20 banks closing its accounts in the past three years.
How am I supposed to run a legitimate business if I can’t get a bank account? I am by no means alone or the first. I know of at least one other trader who has closed accounts more than 60 times.
The Flynn exchange is registered with the Australian Transaction Reporting and Analysis Center (AUSTRAC), he said, and has helped facilitate BTC trades for about 450 customers.
Westpac told Flynn that his account was closed because he was “under investigation for cryptocurrency fraud.” ANZ said it does not offer banking services to crypto brokers, issuers or exchanges. According to the report, Flynn alleged that an ANZ employee had informed other banks and his clients that he was involved in fraud.
Operators of crypto exchanges have had a hard time opening and maintaining accounts with traditional banking institutions. Earlier this month, the Chilean Free Competition Defense Court ruled that Banco Itaú and Banco Estado, two major banks in the country, must reopen Buda’s crypto exchange checking accounts.
The accounts were closed in 2018 after they were falsely linked to a scam carried out by Terra Finance.
What do you think about banks denying crypto exchange banking services? Let us know in the comments section below.
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