Australia Acts on De-Banking of Crypto Entities, Supports Policy Recommendations to Tackle Issue

The government's choice to make its position clearer on de-banking comes hours after Blockchain Australia, the nation's industry body made a fresh commitment to minimize scams.

AccessTimeIconJun 28, 2023 at 10:42 a.m. UTC
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Australia's Treasury said on Wednesday it recognises the seriousness of de-banking and that it understands inaction could drive business underground after instances of banking partners cutting-off crypto platforms in the nation.

In the same announcement, it has also supported the majority of previous advice from the Council of Financial Regulators (CFR) on de-banking that could affect change for crypto-related entities.

Recently, Australia has seen the Commonwealth Bank (CBA) apply partial restrictions citing "scams and the amount of money lost by customers" and Binance Australia halt Australian dollar (AUD) deposits and withdrawals by bank transfer "due to a decision made" by a third-party payment service provider.

Last year, the CFR gave the government four recommendations on potential policy responses to de-banking.

The Australian government "agreed" to the data collection recommendation and "supported" the recommendation that all banks implement measures to improve transparency and fairness in relation to de‑banking.

The government also supported the recommendation that Australia's four major banks publish guidance applicable to the digital currency exchanges. Australia's four major banks are Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank, ANZ Bank and Westpac.

The government's choice to make its position clearer on de-banking comes hours after Blockchain Australia, the nation's industry body made a fresh commitment to minimize "the intersection of crypto-assets and scams, and collaborating with payment providers and banks to ensure scams are stopped, and leveraging innovative technology to do so."

Blockchain Australia's commitment came after hosting a "Stopping Scams Roundtable" involving 28 representatives, as well as observers from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and Treasury. Earlier this month, the body had denounced the de-banking of cryptocurrency platforms and said it would host a roundtable meeting to discuss the issue.

Edited by Parikshit Mishra.

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Amitoj Singh

Amitoj Singh is a CoinDesk reporter.


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