The Australian Financial Review has reported that the Bank of Queensland will prohibit its customers to use loan equity to purchase cryptocurrency.
The Bank of Queensland, one of Australia’s largest banks, which is publicly traded on the country’s stock exchange, has made the move as it believes recent crypto price instability has made amendments to its rules necessary. Other banks have discouraged its borrowers using real-estate mortgages for crypto purchases, but as yet haven’t officially prohibited the activity.
The bank has stated in its new rules “any loan purpose that involves the acquisition of or usage of cryptocurrency is unacceptable”.
Australian regulators are increasing scrutiny over crypto space. Austrac, the country’s financial intelligence agency, has announced new rulings which have mandated further customer scrutiny across cryptocurrency exchanges. Added to this, the Australian tax office has sought public feedback regarding crypto earnings.
Also, the ATO reported that it would be enforcing its tax requirements this year by using 100-point checks, a security checking system long favored by the Australian government and other sectors, and also call on bilateral agreements with other countries to identify users for tax payment purposes. There are currently over 40 countries who have such agreements with Australia including the US and the UK.
It’s been reported that some lenders are now monitoring borrowers accounts in order to check if such accounts are being used for cryptocurrency trading. An anonymous broker reportedly claimed, “They (banks) are concerned because the Australian Taxation Office, Treasury, the Reserve Bank of Australia and Austrac are crawling all over it.”
In a similar move, but in this case focusing on customer credit, banks such as JP Morgan Chase, Citi and Bank of America have suggested bans on credit being used to purchase cryptocurrency due to the volatility of the market.
Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) official Tony Richards in a speech to the Australian Business Economists recently expressed his admiration of Bitcoin but thought it would not be adopted into the country’s mainstream financial system.
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