An ING executive warned banks may drop Facebook as a customer if the social media giant continues with its experimental foray into cryptocurrency without addressing regulatory concerns.
In an interview with the Financial Times on Tuesday, CEO Ralph Hamers said the Libra project’s unresolved regulatory issues place a degree of risk on banks, as “gatekeeper[s] to the financial system.”
Hamers said the potential for Libra users to evade anti-money laundering standards and facilitate "financial... crime" raises questions for banks to “take measures and exit the client, or not accept the client.” Adding, “[T]hose are discussions you would have to have.”
In recent weeks, several prominent payments operators – including Visa, Stripe and Mastercard – have exited the non-binding letter of intent to join the Libra Association. However, Hamer’s statement today, is the first signal Libra’s regulatory risks speak to the project's lead Facebook as a bankable client.
A Facebook spokesperson said:
“We are such a large, regulated institution that you don’t want to risk anything,” said Hamers. “We’ve said we’ll take a look and see how this develops.”