NAB, ANZ and Westpac hold cryptocurrency stance

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NAB, ANZ and Westpac hold cryptocurrency stance

No immediate plans to offer access in wake of CBA move.

NAB, ANZ and Westpac have not been deterred by CBA's decision to let customers trade cryptocurrency via its app, opting to continue reviewing the digital asset space.

On Wednesday, CBA revealed plans to let customers buy, sell and hold cryptocurrency assets via the CommBank app through a partnership with Gemini and Chainalysis.

The announcement came just weeks after CBA chief executive Matt Comyn told a parliamentary committee that the bank was "studying" the cryptocurrency space.

However, the other three major national banks are sticking to current priorities, including building banking solutions for customers outside of digital assets services.

ANZ is not looking into the space at all, and is instead focusing efforts on other priorities it feels could better serve its customers.  

A spokesperson told iTnews that while the bank doesn’t prohibit customers trading digital asset, it will monitor transactions for “unusual behaviour to protect against potential fraud”.

“Our policy is to assess the risk of customers and to, generally, not bank businesses where we cannot effectively manage that risk,” the ANZ spokesperson said.

“Issuers, dealers or exchanges of digital or crypto-currency often fall into this category.”

This was the main concern from ANZ CEO Shayne Elliott during the same parliamentary committee attended by Comyn.

Elliott said the bank “struggled to understand” the best way to service digital assets while maintaining its own compliance given the lack of visibility around crypto exchange licenses.

Meanwhile, NAB's personal everyday banking executive Paul Riley said the bank was continuing to explore uses of blockchain technology to “solve real customer problems”.

Riley pointed to NAB’s Project Carbon initiative as an example of how the bank is using blockchain-based technologies to “address existing barriers and make carbon offsets more accessible for our customers.”

“The way our customers are choosing to bank and engage with us continues to evolve. Just as it has done for decades,” Riley said.  

“NAB’s always innovating and looking for opportunities to support our customers to engage with simple and digital products and partnerships.”

A Westpac spokesperson told iTnews the bank is committed to providing its customers with choice, while “reviewing how we help our customers with their mobile banking needs”.

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