Portuguese Santander Unit Bans Unregulated Bitcoin Transactions
The Portuguese unit of Santander bank, Santander Totta, has made an unexpected and interesting decision. The bank has decided to not process bitcoin transactions. Local media reported that the bank has put a halt on bitcoin transactions citing the lack of regulation.
Local media reports said that the bank will not process transactions from various cryptocurrency exchanges, as the exchanges transact "in non-regulated financial products." The bank also reportedly cited the lack of regulation associated to digital currencies.
It has been revealed that Santander Totta responded to a client who was dealing with issues in transferring funds from a cryptocurrency exchange to his personal bank account.
The exchange in cause is Coinbase, which is actually one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges. The customer complained to the bank for being unable to make the transaction, and the bank provided its answer.
Santander Totta told the customer that it does not engage in transactions related to unregulated cryptocurrencies. This means that such transactions will never be accepted by the bank. Local media reported that several customers experienced this problem and one was able to talk to a Santander Totta employee about the issue.
Santander Totta has an internal directive to not process cryptocurrency related transactions
The employee reportedly said that the bank has an internal directive to block all transactions that refer to Coinbase, which was described by the bank as an entity dedicated to buying and selling cryptocurrencies.
The fact that Santander does not accept transactions involving cryptocurrencies was first revealed at the end of 2017.
Since the bank seems to be having quite a firm position on this aspect, several customers have decided to change their bank with the purpose to be able to engage with Coinbase or other exchanges. Thus, it is important to mention that Santander Totta's decision to not process transactions is not only focused on Coinbase.
Other exchanges have been linked to similar cases, including Bitstamp. A customer revealed that he received a note from the exchange which indicated that Santander Totta does not process transfers that "originate from bitcoin-related businesses."