The CEO of HSBC Holdings plc, Europe’s largest bank and one of the largest financial institutions in the world, revealed that it is not planning to offer any form of cryptocurrency-related services to its customers.
Bitcoin’s Volatility a Problem for HSBC
Speaking to Reuters on Monday (May 24, 2021), HSBC CEO, Noel Quinn, clarified the bank’s stance on bitcoin and crypto, stating that the banking giant has no intentions to launch a bitcoin trading desk or offer crypto investment to its customers. Quinn also said that he saw the flagship crypto as more of an asset class than a means of payment.
The HSBC chief citied volatility and lack of transparency as the reasons for the bank’s refusal to adopt the emerging technology. Quinn’s statement comes amid the recent crypto market crash. Bitcoin’s value dipped to below $30,000 last week, after reaching an all-time high (ATH) of about $65,000 in April.
Quinn, commenting on BTC’s volatility, said:
“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.”
The HSBC CEO also expressed the same views about stablecoins saying:
“Then you get to stablecoins which do have some reserve backing behind them to address the stored value concerns, but it depends on who the sponsoring organisation is plus the structure and accessibility of the reserve.”
Meanwhile, the HSBC sentiment towards the crypto industry is in sharp contrast with the attitude from some of its rivals. As reported by BTCManager earlier in May, Swiss banking giant UBS is exploring various alternatives to offer crypto investment to its wealthy clients.
Other major financial institutions like JPMorgan, BNY Mellon, Goldman Sachs, State Street, and Citigroup are either looking to launch a cryptocurrency trading platform, or enable clients to invest in bitcoin and other crypto assets.
HSBC Maintains Negative Stance Against Crypto
HSBC’s stance against bitcoin and crypto is nothing new. Back in January 2021, the banking giant was among the UK banks that prevented money transfer to cryptocurrency exchanges and funds from these exchanges.
In April, HSBC also banned its customers from buying Microstrategy stocks. Microstrategy has been accumulating bitcoin since its first buy in August 2020, holding over 92,000 BTC.