Aussie Bitcoin change proprietor accuses banks of discrimination
Allan Flynn, a Bitcoin trader in Australia, has filed a complaint against two commercial banks in the country – ANZ and Westpac – accusing both of systematic discrimination. According to a report by the Australian Financial Review, Flynn is seeking compensation of A $ 250,000 (approximately $ 192,000).
According to Flynn, he was the victim of discriminatory practices at banks that allegedly continued to close his accounts. Speaking to AFR, Flynn complained that no fewer than 20 banks have closed accounts operated by his exchange in the past three years, adding:
“How am I supposed to run a legitimate business if I can’t get a bank account?”
For Flynn, the reported account closure occurs despite the fact that its crypto exchange service is registered with the Australian Transaction Reporting and Analysis Center (AUSTRAC). Flynn’s platform reportedly serves over 450 customers.
Flynn filed a complaint with the Australian Financial Complaints Authority back in 2020. However, the AFCA decided that Westpac – one of the banks involved in the matter – acted under the terms set out.
At the time, Westpac was offering Flynn Australian $ 250 as a refund for the sudden closure of the account, which the complainant said he had not yet received. Westpac previously traced its account closures to ongoing investigations into cryptocurrency fraud, according to Flynn. For its part, ANZ says it doesn’t offer banking services to cryptocurrency brokers.
Flynn’s new complaint, filed before the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal, is set to begin in March.
ANZ and Westpac did not immediately respond to Cointelegraph’s request for comment.
The exchanges accusing banks of discriminatory practices are not just restricted to Australia. In March 2020, the Supreme Court of India lifted the central bank’s ban on serving banks that serve crypto businesses. However, even after the Supreme Court decision, there were reports of “cryptophobic” behavior by Indian banks.
A similar situation exists in Latin America, where commercial banks are further intensifying account closings for crypto exchanges. In Brazil, two large platforms were also forced to shut down due to strict tax compliance guidelines.