Australian banks have been frequently in the news during the recent times for both right and wrong reasons. Starting from the banks adopting blockchain technology to them cracking down on bitcoin businesses having their accounts with them without offering any explanation.
Actions of these Australian banks, especially the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Westpac will now be investigated after people in high places raised concerns. The issue is not confined to just these two banks as almost all major banks in Australia are accused of closing the accounts belonging to many bitcoin companies in Australia without giving reasons.
READ MORE: Banks in Australia Cancel Banking Services to Bitcoin Companies
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is now considering to investigate the actions of these Australian banks after they were accused of attempting to stifle bitcoin companies as they considered it to be a threat to conventional banking system. The issue was taken up by Queensland Nationals Senator Matthew Canavan who sent a letter to the chairman of Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Rod Sims on Tuesday seeking an investigation into the accusations.
Earlier it was reported that at least 17 bitcoin services companies had received letters from their banks informing them about account closure. According to last report, 13 of these 17 accounts were already shutdown. Senator Matthew Canavan has been one of the proponents of the digital currency in Australia. Some of the affected bitcoin companies have come forward to inform that their repeated queries with the bank are being stonewalled either by a low level customer support executive or there was no response at all.
In light of recent news about Australian banks exploring possible benefits of blockchain technology on their daily operations, these actions on banks’ part seem questionable. This has provided the Senator as well as Australian Competition and Consumer Commission grounds to initiate an investigation.
However, the chief executive of Australian Bankers’ Association has defended the banks actions by saying that in case of AML and KYC violations, banks can close accounts under anti-money laundering and counter terrorism financing laws. If banks are found guilty of misusing their power to reduce competition in, then it might spell trouble to them.