We’ve known for a while now that banks generally like to stay hands-off when it comes to bitcoin, but National Australia Bank is seemingly taking it one step further.
Bitcoin news website CoinDesk reported Wednesday that the bank will be closing customer accounts in early May. That’s according to a letter received by an Australian LocalBitcoins.com user Yo Shima, who operates under the AusBitcoins handle.
Snippet of the letter:
NAB has a responsibility and commitment to continually review its risk profile and the businesses we bank, ensuring that those businesses do not pose risks to NAB …
NAB has recently conducted a review of businesses that trade in digital currencies and has determined that digital currency providers pose an unacceptable level of risk, both to our business and reputation …
As a result of this review, NAB has decided to stop providing banking services to you and will close your accounts, effective 2nd May 2014.
Shima’s account is in good standing, according to CoinDesk, and he transacted approximately $50,000 AUD on a weekly bases — making him one of (if not the) busiest LocalBitcoins user in Australia.
Changes in position
Perhaps what’s most interesting about this entire situation is the fact that National Australia Bank was previously considered bitcoin-friendly, going so far as to try and build relationships with bitcoin businesses in attempts to better understand this digital currency.
No statement has been released publicly by the bank. More information as it becomes available.