‘Bitcoin Bank’ Denies Policy Change on International Cryptocurrency Wire Transfers

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Metropolitan Commercial Bank denied reports that it has altered its policies to halt international cryptocurrency-related wire transfers.

In a statement filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Thursday, the bank’s parent company responded to what it deemed “erroneous statements” regarding its policies on international wire transfers.

Earlier this week, Fortune had reported that due to “an incident of international fraud associated with one of the bank’s clients,” Metropolitan had abruptly decided to halt all international wire transfers related to cryptocurrency services or transactions.

Nicknamed by some as “The Bitcoin Bank,” Metropolitan reportedly serviced a number of clients active within the cryptocurrency space, including Coinbase, so the impact of such a policy change would have been significant.

However, in its statement, Metropolitan Bank Holding Corp. wrote that its prohibition on international cryptocurrency-related wire transfers was a longstanding policy and does not represent a shift toward a less-hospitable view of cryptocurrency businesses.

Rather, the company said that it was merely reminding clients about its policy, which was already in place:

“As a matter of policy, the Bank does not accept cryptocurrency-related wire transfers from non-U.S. entities. This is a long-standing policy of the Bank and remains in effect today. Last week, the Bank sent out a reminder to customers of its policy against accepting cryptocurrency-related wire transfers from non-U.S. entities. This reminder to customers is not a new policy for the Bank and was not due to, nor did the Bank experience, any ‘incident of international fraud,’” the company said in the statement.

This policy, the bank added, was part of its “robust risk management program” and was originally implemented as a precaution to ensure that the bank complies with all “laws, rules and guidance.”

Although this report was false, cryptocurrency customers have received the cold shoulder from another financial services firm.

Visa, the $270 billion credit card issuer, recently terminated its partnership with Gibraltar-based digital payment processing company Wave Crest, which had leveraged this partnership to issue a number of cryptocurrency debit cards.

Consequently, branded debit cards from Xapo, TenX, BitWala, and BitPay are no longer functional, although the companies said they will explore new ways to roll out debit card services to users.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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