Polish bitcoin exchange BitMarket.pl has had its bank accounts suspended by Bank BPH.
BPH initially said the suspension was the result of a technical glitch, but later claimed it was due to outstanding debt and lack of credentials, according to BitMarket.pl. The exchange said it discovered its BPH accounts were suspended on 26th January.
BitMarket.pl founder Michal Pleban told CoinDesk that the real reason for the bank’s decision was prompted by a query filed by the local district attorney’s office. The filing revolved around one particular transaction on the exchange, which was allegedly performed with stolen funds.
“For that reason, the bank decided to close all our accounts and refuse our business,” he said.
The exchange never received a notification from the bank or the authorities, according to Pleban. He said he was unable to see the query that eventually prompted the bank to freeze the accounts.
In addition, Pleban said the bank’s compliance team made a mistake by closing the account before it disabled the IT connector. This resulted in transactions being channelled to the already disabled account. The bank said the transactions would eventually be returned to their senders.
CoinDesk has contacted BPH for additional comment on the matter, but no response had been received at press time.
New bank account
Pleban said the exchange has decided to create a new company to take ownership of BitMarket.pl and is seeking to open a new account with a different bank.
He added that the exchange is trying to normalise operations:
“This should take no more than two weeks. In the meantime, we have re-enabled electronic fiat transfers which will be warehoused at the payment processor until a new bank account is opened. We also re-enabled crypto deposits, and all withdrawals are performed normally from my own personal account. Normal (non-electronic) fiat transfers will be re-enabled once a new bank account is established.”
Pleban is also looking into the possibility of taking legal action against the bank, claiming his lawyer is preparing the necessary paperwork.
“I am currently on a quest to find a bitcoin-friendly bank in Poland,” he added.
BitMarket.pl opened in March 2014, promising to offer superior security following a number of attacks on local exchanges.
Zloty image via Shutterstock