The Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) and National Australia Bank have confirmed that they will not allow customers to access cryptocurrency trading services in the foreseeable future.
The response by the two banks comes as the cryptocurrency market is going through a serious crash. Because of this, the banks are reluctant to engage with the vertical.
A sharp downturn paired with regulatory uncertainty has made big bankers even less enthusiastic about the cryptocurrency segment.
While Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) chief executive Matt Comyn, acknowledged that the bank had considered intergration with the cryptocurrency market, these plans have been put on the backburner to reflect on the realities.
Retail customers are not going to be the first to benefit from any cryptocurrency products launched in an Australian bank, said National Australia Bank digital bank chief Angela Mentis, who shares her colleague’s pragmatism about the matter.
While the Bitcoin price buoyed up to $33,000 at time of writing, skepticism in the banking sector continues.
However, Comyn acknowledged that young male and female investors were keen to have more options to invest in cryptocurrencies using their traditional banks, but it is not plausible in the current scenario. This means that these investors will turn elsewhere, to digital platforms that are regulated, but arguably offer poorer overall security measures.
According to Comyn, the slow adoption of cryptocurrencies by mainstream banking has had two effects – one is the lack of investors and the other is a shortage of talent, who are going to blockchain-focused companies.
While uncertainties about the market persist, Australian mainstream bank executives will tread carefully.
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