The Commonwealth Financial institution is hoping to enhance its understanding of the cryptocurrency house as shopper curiosity in digital foreign money grows.
Talking at a standing committee on economics, CBA chief government Matt Comyn mentioned that “cryptocurrency itself is a broad, fascinating and sophisticated house”, and one the financial institution wants to grasp higher.
“We sometimes have not had a very supportive posture round cryptocurrency exchanges merely due to a few of the dangers which can be related to that exact trade,” Comyn mentioned.
“After all once we tackle a enterprise relationship, we’ve got sure obligations.”
Cryptocurrencies has been a subject of dialogue of late with Westpac and NAB both expressing hesitation to trade them.
In line with Comyn, whereas the blockchain know-how which cryptocurrencies use can present good transparency round transactions, it additionally “assumes that the on-ramps and off-ramps …are equally nicely regulated.”
Gaps right here may result in discrepancies within the ‘know your buyer’ (KYC) obligations CBA and different banks should adjust to, Comyn mentioned.
There have been residual considerations that changing fiat to cryptocurrency might be used to bypass conventional worldwide transaction reporting.
Comyn mentioned the subject of cryptocurrencies has been “beneath overview extra just lately” on the financial institution which can result in a “extra supportive posture”.
CBA may see “what number of prospects every month, as only one knowledge level, are investing into cryptocurrency.”
“We see an unlimited development in stablecoins which are actually greater than $130 billion internet and 10x development within the final 12 months,” Comyn mentioned.
Nonetheless, he famous there are nonetheless many “crypto gamers with vastly totally different enterprise fashions and “very totally different requirements” to the banking sector.
Comyn added this might result in companies being refused banking companies at CBA, particularly in the event that they failed to completely disclose the character of their enterprise – which has come to be often known as “de-banking”.
“A part of the account opening course of is clearly varied procedures to grasp the shopper however you additionally depend on what the shopper is telling you [about] the correct goal of their enterprise,” Comyn mentioned.
“There have been examples the place prospects mentioned they had been doing one factor however really they had been doing one thing else, together with working a crypto enterprise.
“I’ve seen examples the place we’ve got ceased our banking relationship with them.”
Comyn mentioned CBA has been in talks with monetary crimes watchdog AUSTRAC concerning the rising curiosity in crypto buying and selling.
“We now have shaped the view extra just lately that sure it’s the next danger sector however it’s a sector in some situations that we really feel that we will appropriately handle the chance, leveraging a few of the instruments, methods and suppliers which can be out there,” Comyn mentioned.
“However we’re additionally in common dialogue with AUSTRAC on this explicit subject. They’re targeted on it.
“We see it as a joint obligation and accountability on our facet to assist attempt to develop the principles.”
Given the fast rise of cryptocurrencies throughout the globe, Comyn added it’s an space that “requires instant consideration from us as a serious monetary establishment however from a wide range of totally different stakeholders.”
“I personally visited a decentralised autonomous organisation, they’d no shareholders, no staff, no structure. There aren’t any administrators, there may be nothing to manage.”