No official actions have been taken by Bank of America or Citigroup yet.
Bank of America, Citigroup, and some additional consumer-facing lenders are reportedly considering preventing their customers from using credit cards issued by the firms to buy cryptocurrencies. While it’s not clear exactly how or when these institutions would put these policies into place, the decision could result in a new set of restrictions and limits surrounding the purchase of crypto.
According to a MarketWatch report, a spokeswoman from Bank of America explained simply that the bank was “reviewing its policies” regarding cryptocurrency; Citigroup is “[continuing] to monitor this evolving space,” although no official policy changes are underway.
In Absence of Government Regulation, Banks Are Cracking Down on Crypto
Over the last two weeks, reports have emerged of banks all around the world taking steps to crack down on customers using credit cards, debit cards, and wire transfers to purchase cryptocurrencies.
The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Capital One Financial Corporation has placed a ban on the use of its credit cards to purchase cryptocurrency, taking a ‘bank knows best’ attitude; the reason for the ban was explained as an effort to limit “mainstream acceptance and the elevated risks of fraud, loss, and volatility.”
Some mortgage-lending firms are also denying loans to customers who have earned money through cryptocurrency. In a report from the Financial Times last week, the UK’s Building Societies Association issued a statement saying that the unregulated nature of cryptocurrencies “puts them into the highest risk category in relation to money laundering,” and that “it is well known that such currencies are popular with criminals, who use them to launder the proceeds of crime.”