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Exclusive: Private Banks are shutting services to crypto-exchanges

Several leading private sector banks have begun shutting off banking services to crypto-currency exchanges in India, over a year after the Supreme Court quashed the Reserve Bank of India's April 2018 circular which barred banks from working with crypto-firms. These banks include HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, IndusInd Bank and ICICI Bank, industry insiders told MediaNama. In the wake of the SC verdict in March 2020, many banks opened up their services to crypto-currency exchanges and other entities. The RBI did not issue a fresh circular or a new policy for payment companies and banks to follow when dealing with crypto-currencies, which is why most banks did not hold back. However, due to the regulatory uncertainty surrounding crypto-investing and trading in the country, several banks are now pulling away from offering services to crypto-firms. They have told payment gateways to 'deactivate' any merchants on their network that is dealing with crypto-currencies. MediaNama has sought responses from HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, IndusInd Bank and ICICI Bank. Queries were also sent to the RBI. Their responses are awaited. https://twitter.com/NischalShetty/status/1389437595327733764 According to a report in the Economic Times, the RBI has been communicating its reservations on crypto-currencies in meetings with senior bankers. In February, some of the top banks wrote to customers seeking clarity on their crypto trades and investments. This writer also received an email communication from a bank seeking details on crypto-investments made last week. Most of the top crypto-exchanges have switched their payment gateway provider…

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Reports on banking, payments, fintech and crypto-curencies. Additional reporting on media regulations, data protection and other areas.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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