Banks could be acting following the possible reform that would put more control over the use of cryptocurrencies in Spain.
Some banking institutions in Spain are closing client accounts that are making cryptocurrency purchase and sale transactions. One of the affected clients assures that the reason why the bank eliminated his account is that he was trading using digital assets. According to some reports, the banks that have been pointed out to cancel the accounts of these clients are Bankia, BBVA, and Pibank.
In this sense, through a press release that some local media published, up to 40 users have had these problems with the aforementioned banks. Until now, they only exclude the Spanish bank Caixabank from these actions.
In the aforementioned press report, one of those affected users explained that, in November 2019, she would have started to trade through Localbitcoin, using her fiat money account. The interviewee said she was very affected by the measure since she used the exchanges in the crypto market as a profit.
In another interview, another trader explained that all these people conducted the same type of operations on the exchange platform. Furthermore, the client said that Spain does not explicitly prohibit these actions and that the Central Bank monitors them. “We register all the operations in Spain since they are not external banks.”
To date, none of the aforementioned banks has issued a statement explaining the situation, or if they prohibit the use of cryptocurrencies through their platforms. However, the merchant said that, since there is a high volume of operations, the bank contacts the client and requests documents that explain the movements. When the user shows that the transactions are the result of trading with cryptocurrencies, the bank deletes his bank accounts without any notice, according to the affected user.
Those affected only received an email notifying them of the termination of their account with the institution. Besides, some users have tried to reset their accounts. However, they have had no results. “The banks ask for the support of all operations and when they see that we trade with cryptocurrencies, they block and do not release or send any kind of documentation.”
Users Must Resort to Third Party Accounts to Conduct their Operations
Banks do not provide clear answers to clients and, according to one of those affected users, the bank’s workers only argue that they act under the terms of the contract of the institution, even though no cancellation clause mentions digital assets or the use of accounts on exchange platforms.
For these reasons, the affected user mentions that to continue conducting this type of operation, he has had to resort to the accounts of members of his family and friends.
Although not in all cases clients mention to the bank that they conduct operations with cryptocurrencies, they do speculate that the agents of the institution investigate whether or not the operations belong to Localbitcoin. The affected person remembers that this exchange platform maintains a policy of Know Your Client (KYC) so the bank monitors the user’s data.
Despite this situation, Spain is working on a reform that would impose more controls on the use of cryptocurrencies. Until the moment, there are no indications to confirm that banks are acting like these users describe. These users hope to have more opportunities to trade with cryptocurrencies in the European country whilst they hope to receive explanations regarding the cancellation of their bank accounts.
By María Rodríguez