Allan Flynn, an Australian cryptocurrency trader, has filed a lawsuit against the country’s two major commercial banks, alleging them of discrimination and unlawfully closing his accounts, Australian Financial Review reported.
Flynn runs a cryptocurrency over-the-counter (OTC) desk and reportedly serves around 450 clients. The legal complaint filed against Westpac and ANZ detailed that the banks closed his accounts soon after they were opened.
Interestingly, it was not the first time the crypto trader faced such issues with banking services. Over the last three years, over 20 of his bank accounts were shut by several banks, including CBA, NAB, ING and Bendigo Bank.
“How am I supposed to run a lawful business if I can’t get a bank account?” Flynn told the publication.
The Bitcoin trader holds a license from the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC), which allows him to run a legal crypto business. But, according to the banks, he was involved in cryptocurrency fraud. Additionally, Flynn alleged that one of the ANZ bank employees informed other banks and his customers that he was involved in crypto fraud.
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He is now demanding compensation of over AUD 250,000 ($192,000) from the banks for discriminating against him and his Bitcoin business.
Banks vs. Cryptocurrencies
Banks have always remained hostile towards cryptocurrency companies. Though this is changing with the recent mainstream adoption of Bitcoin, the hostility was at its peak around the last few years.
Major companies like Coinbase even faced complications when its UK banking partner denied continuing offering services. However, the most noticeable one might be in India, a country with a significant crypto market. The central bank’s ban on banking services for crypto companies remained effective for a year until the top court squashed it.
Meanwhile, many cryptocurrency companies are now forming licensed banks to fill the gap between digital assets and mainstream financials.