US Regional Banks Begin to Cite Crypto as Business Risk

It's not just America's biggest banks that are worried about cryptocurrency adoption, public filings show.

Mar 1, 2018 at 3:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 7:37 a.m. UTC

It's not just America's biggest banks that are worried about cryptocurrency competition, public filings show.

WesBanco, according to the latest 10-K annual report submitted the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and published Feb. 27, cited cryptocurrencies as a possible business risk.

"[B]anks and other financial institutions may have products and services not offered by WesBanco such as new payment system technologies and cryptocurrency, which may cause current and potential customers to choose those institutions," the bank wrote.

WesBanco primarily serves markets in the U.S. state of West Virginia, but it also operates in Kentucky, Indiana and Pennsylvania, among other nearby areas. It is West Virginia's second-largest bank by assets, according to recent market data.

In another 10-K published earlier this month, Louisiana-based bank IberiaBank cited developments in fintech – naming bitcoin specifically – as a potential driver of competitive costs.

"Fintech developments, such as bitcoin, have the potential to disrupt the financial industry and change the way banks do business. Investment in new technology to stay competitive would result in significant costs and increased risks of [cybersecurity] attacks," the bank wrote.

The filings are notable given the recent 10-Ks from banking giants Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase, all of which mentioned cryptocurrencies as a business risk.

"[T]he widespread adoption of new technologies, including internet services, cryptocurrencies and payment systems, could require substantial expenditures to modify or adapt our existing products and services," Bank of America wrote in its recent filing.

The acknowledgment from WesBanco is also noteworthy as it indicates that cryptocurrencies are on the radar of smaller, more regionally-focused banks in the U.S.

West Virginia map image via Shutterstock 

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