HSBC, the biggest European bank has no plans of offering bitcoin or crypto trading and investment services to its clients any time soon, as per the CEO Noel Quinn. Quin in an exclusive interview with Reuters. Quin blamed cryptocurrency’s volatility and lack of transparency as the key reason behind their decision. He explained,
“Given the volatility, we are not into Bitcoin as an asset class, if our clients want to be there then of course they are, but we are not promoting it as an asset class within our wealth management business,”
Quinn also said that Bitcoin might not be fit to be a payment vehicle owing to its price volatility and said that they have no plans to dwell on stablecoins either. He explained,
“I view Bitcoin as more of an asset class than a payments vehicle, with very difficult questions about how to value it on the balance sheet of clients because it is so volatile,
The discussions around Bitcoin’s volatility are back into the picture after last weeks’ 50% price decline from the top. Bitcoin and other altcoins lost the majority of their gains over the past three months in a matter of a couple of days. HSBC is also among the very few international banking giants to steer away from offering crypto when the likes of Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan once a staunch critic have started offering Bitcoin investment services amid growing client demand.
Does HSBC’s Crypto Conservativeness Have a China Connection?
This is not the first time when HSBC has shown a passive stance towards the crypto space and Bitcoin, in particular, only last month the bank has banned customers from buying shares of MicroStartegy owing to their heavy Bitcoin investment. Many have also linked HSBC’s conservative approach towards crypto being influenced by its growth strategy that heavily revolves around China.
China has banned Bitcoin trading several years ago and now looking to crack down on the Bitcoin mining industry to meet its carbon emission goals.
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An engineering graduate, Prashant focuses on UK and Indian markets. As a crypto-journalist, his interests lie in blockchain technology adoption across emerging economies.