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 their accounts on short notice.
Allan Flynn is demanding AU $ 250,000 (US $ 193,000) in compensation from ANZ and Westpac banks for closing his accounts immediately after they opened, the Australian Financial Review reported on January 18th.
Flynn, who operates a registered Bitcoin (BTC) Exchange, has initiated proceedings against both banks in the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal. The trader claims he was the victim of unlawful discrimination. In the past three years, no fewer than 20 banks have closed his accounts.
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 at least one other trader whose accounts have been closed more than 60 times.
Flynn’s exchange is registered with the Australian Transaction Reporting and Analysis Center (AUSTRAC) and has helped make things easier BTC trades for around 450 customers.
Westpac reportedly told Flynn that his account had been closed because “cryptocurrency fraud was being investigated”. ANZ does not offer banking services to crypto brokers, issuers or exchanges. According to the report, Flynn alleged that an ANZ employee informed other banks and its customers that he was involved in fraud.
Crypto exchange operators 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 of the country’s major banks, must reopen the Buda crypto exchange’s checking accounts.
The accounts were closed in 2018 after they were mistakenly implicated in a scam operated by Terra Finance.
What do you think of banks that deny crypto exchange banking services? Let us know in the comments below.
Photo credit: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons