Banking And Cryptocurrency: The bank which banned Bitcoin accused of money laundering

Cryptocurrency regulations investors should know

Governments have been trying to regulate Bitcoin and almost all other cryptocurrencies for a while now. Although some countries like Japan have welcomed cryptocurrency into their economy, most countries are reluctant about it. As a matter of fact, the regulations imposed in certain countries in 2018 was one of the leading reasons for the bearish crypt market.

Talking about regulations, on the 19th of October 2018 the Financial Action Task Force or FATF said that the big cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum should be regulated. And laws should be imposed on them in order to avoid the misuse of cryptocurrencies.  Governments, in general, aren’t a big fan of cryptocurrency mainly because of the fact that they are decentralized digital-currency and the Central Banks have no control over it.

The FATF said that a lot of frauds and illegal activities have occurred because of digital assets. Moreover, they announced that they plan on imposing laws regarding cryptocurrencies by the June of 2019.

Nordic’s largest bank involved in money laundering?

During early 2018 Finland based Nordea Bank imposed a ban on the purchase of cryptocurrency for its employees. Currently, the big bank employees over 30,000 workers and these workers could no longer buy or trade any cryptocurrency including Bitcoin. Nordea justified the ban by saying that cryptocurrency was “too risky” and had the “potential to be used for various criminal activities.”

One of the executives said “It is widespread practice across the banking industry to restrict the personal account dealing of staff to prevent them taking positions in speculative investments, or which might expose them to a risk of financial loss and therefore impact their financial standing,” Kellberg said. “Nordea therefore, like all banks, has the right to set out policies in this area that apply to its staff.”

The most ironic thing is that on the 18th of October the Finnish bank got accused of money laundering. The Swedish Economic Crime Authority or SECA which consists of regulators received a report stating that Nordea bank was involved in a money laundering case. And that the bank was receiving criminal sourced funds from Estonia and Lithuania.

Over 171 million US dollars were deposited in about 36 different accounts in Nordea Bank. The documents provided in regards to the funds were fake papers claiming they were from shell companies. Although Nordea has had money laundering cases in the past with various banks, this specific case relates to the Danske Bank.

The Danske Bank also has a shady past. According to Forbes, the bank has suspicious transactions amounting to over 200 billion euros which have been with East European banks. Moreover, a majority of these payments were processed from the Danske Bank’s Estonia branch (the same branch which is currently being investigated for multiple money laundering cases) while the other transactions were processed from a different bank in Lithuania.

The largest Finnish bank didn’t challenge the accusation. An executive stated; “We are aware of the report, and at Nordea, we work closely with the relevant authorities in the countries in which we operate, including the Nordic Financial Intelligence Units. In many cases where we deem it to be suspicious transactions, we report it to the authorities for them to take forward.”

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