HSBC has reportedly changed its policy on cryptocurrency. The bank is now banning customers from buying the stock of public companies that hold bitcoin, such as Microstrategy. All of the companies with bitcoin treasures could be on the chopping block at HSBC.
HSBC is now Bars Clients from Buying Crypto and Crypto Related Stocks Like Microstrategy
The British bank HSBC has reportedly become tougher with its crypto policy. The bank is now prohibiting its customers from buying the stock of public companies that hold bitcoin in its treasury.
HSBC customer shared a message he said he had received from the bank, informing him of a policy change regarding cryptocurrencies, naming bitcoin and ethereum as examples. The bank’s new policy applies to “products related to or reference to virtual currency performance.” The notice reads:
HIDC [HSBC Invest Direct] will not participate in facilitating (purchasing and / or exchanging) virtual currency related products, or products related to or referencing virtual currency performance.
The notice specifies one stock in particular. “Our records show that your HSBC Invest Direct account holds Microstrategy Inc-A – MSTR-US, a virtual currency product.”
Although Microstrategy offers no crypto services, it has been buying BTC heavily since October last year. The company has accumulated nearly 100K BTC and made acquiring the cryptocurrency one of its main goals.
HSBC’s warning continues:
While we will allow MSTR-US holdings to be held and / or sold / transferred out into your HSBC Invest Direct account, no new buy-in or transfer is allowed.
The British bank did not specify how much bitcoin a company must hold in order for its stock to be barred from the bank. Microstrategy has made it policy to hold 100% of its treasury reserves at BTC.
A rapidly expanding list of companies has said they are investing in bitcoin but usually in smaller percentages than Microstrategy. This includes Tesla by Elon Musk which invested $ 1.5 billion in January. Jack also donated Dorsey’s Square Inc. 5% of its total reserves in bitcoin. The site bitcointreasuries.org has curated a growing list of companies with bitcoin in their treasures.
One Twitter user commented on the situation, speculating that HSBC Canada “probably arbitrarily decides which% bitcoin reserves are right for clients to invest in.”
The HSBC customer who received the notice tweeted to Microstrategy CEO Michael Saylor: “You may want to ask your legal team whether what HSBC Canada is doing here is legal. It certainly doesn’t sound like it is. They will not allow us to buy Microstrategy. ”Referring to all companies with bitcoin investments, he further opined:“ Maybe all of these companies are on the chopping block because they hold BTC. This is the opposite of a ‘free market.’ ”
What do you think of HSBC’s new crypto policy? Let us know in the comments section below.
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