Banks in Portugal are Closing Accounts Belonging to Crypto Exchanges

Some banks in Portugal swung into action by closing several bank accounts of crypto exchanges. The banks said the reason for the action is their risk management approach. Portugal has a good reputation for opening its doors to crypto exchanges as there are no tax impositions on cryptocurrencies.

Banks’ Proactivity?

The banks involved in the latest purge are Banco Santander, Banco Comercial Portugues, Abanca, BiG, and Caixa Geral de Depositos. Reports have it that up to four exchanges got their accounts closed.

All affected exchanges were duly registered with the Portuguese central bank. The crypto exchanges are Mind the Coin, Criptoloja, and Luso Digital Assets. The fourth exchange involved asked for its anonymity to be maintained in the media.

The Governor of Portugal’s Central Bank, Mario Centeno, made certain comments concerning the decision of the banks. He said the decision of banks to either open an account or to offer their services to any client depends on the banks’ policies. The banks have to do it in tandem with their risk management rules which were set internally.

The founder of “Thoughts the Coin,” Pedro Guimaraes, said that the banks gave no explanation for their recent action and decision. He said although there are no official reasons for action or stated policy, some banks simply said they no longer wish to provide their services to crypto firms anymore.

Suspected Foul Play 

Guimaraes said it is now looking difficult to begin a crypto business in the country with the recent actions. Although the banks did not state any official reason for their decisions, some have speculated that there might have been suspicious deals to warrant the policy decision to close accounts.

Other people suggested that the banks must have suggested or had evidence of money laundering. There might also have been inappropriate KYC enforcement by crypto exchanges. If any of these happens, closing their bank accounts is almost inevitable. 

Portugal turned down two separate bills that sought to impose taxes on cryptocurrencies. They were both dismissed in the month of May. But the ruling party is expected to propose a bill that will tax cryptocurrencies.

State actors around the world are becoming less hostile to cryptocurrencies. Rather, they are speedily looking for ways to regulate the crypto market so the benefits can be properly accounted for. Portugal has always provided a good atmosphere for crypto to thrive.