On Monday, December 2nd , a Danish court handed down a ruling which enables Scandanavian banking entity, Nordea Bank, to keep its customers from investing in digital assets. The Copenhagen located court stated that the bank imposing the restriction on its employees was justified by the risks associated with digital asset investing.
Nordea’s ban on employees getting involved with digital assets came into effect back in January. The bank cited the lack of regulation concerning digital assets, the asset class being associated with criminality, as well as the ‘risk’ of employees investing in the asset class possibly harming its reputation as reasons for the ban.
The Nordic banking giant’s restriction however, did not apply to digital currency based assets the bank offered to clients, or any crypto that its employees had owned prior to the ban coming into effect. The Danish union representing employees working in the nation’s financial industry felt the ban unjust and accused the bank of interfering with employees’ personal lives – hence the court case.
“We filed suit because of the principle that everyone obviously has a private life and the right to act as a private individual…It was important for us and our members to establish what rights managers have. In this case, it was more far-reaching than what we find to be appropriate.” – stated the union’s chairman, Kent Petersen.
Nordea’s Relationship With Crypto
Two years ago, the banking firm found itself fighting different cryptocurrency related case, against digital currency exchange Bitmynt, after the bank had closed the entity’s banking account – citing inadequate KYC/AML procedures, on the exchange’s part. In that particular case, the court ruled in Nordea’s favor, after finding that the exchange’s founder, Sturle Sunde, had been performing AML procedures by himself.
Nordea may be more bullish on distributed ledger technology as, in June of 2018, the private banking entity launched We.trade. a blockchain trading platform, in partnership with 12 other financial institutions. The bank opened the platform up to more customers in May of this year.
Oddly enough, the bank, in October displayed a less conservative stance regarding digital assets. Nordea representative, Raymond Frenken expressed the bank’s commitment to working with central banks, as well as the European Banking Federation in an effort to hammer out a regulatory framework geared towards digital assets.
“If banks like Nordea are going to have a very specific policy on this — and we’re hearing regulators are taking a look at this, including the ECB and central banks — probably it will be that it’s changing. With developments like this, it’s more likely that it will have to be discussed in the context of the European Banking Federation,” – Frenken
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