Six weeks after Swedish-based bitcoin exchange Safello announced rapid 'Faster Payments' deposits for UK customers, its banking partner has withdrawn its services and will close its accounts as of tomorrow.
Safello, which received the 14-day closure notice from the undisclosed UK bank on 13th January, said: "there was no base for the decision to shut our accounts down. Nor were we unclear in our communication towards the UK bank prior to getting our accounts approved".
Frank Schuil, Safello's CEO and co-founder, told CoinDesk that the exchange will continue to support international wire transfers for British pounds and that the firm would reactivate Faster Payments once a new bank account had been set up.
Faster Payments deposits were halted on Friday "to prevent any issues with people's transfers", he explained.
'Sign of the times'
In a statement, Safello said that it did "everything in its power to reverse this decision", adding that its banking partner was fully aware that it was a bitcoin company at the start of the relationship.
When asked about the potential ramifications of the closure, Schuil said:
Despite the bad news for its UK-based customers, Schuil said the team perceived the decision as "a sign of the times".
Expansion in the Nordics
The news comes just as Safello also announced that it was entering the Norwegian and Danish markets.
Having spotted a space in the market, Schuil said:
Schuil stressed that the company would continue to push forward in order to make local payment methods available to its customers, saying:
CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.