London-headquartered HSBC Holdings PLC, one of the largest banks in Europe, has recently revealed that it has no intention of ever offering cryptocurrency services to its clients.
In an interview with Reuters, the bank’s Chief Executive, Noel Quinn pointed out that HSBC’s stance on cryptocurrencies is because of their extreme volatility and lack of transparency.
Hence, the bank will neither launch a bitcoin trading desk nor offer it as an investable asset to its clients, including every other crypto-related service.
“Given the volatility, we are not into Bitcoin as an asset class, if our clients want to be there then of course they are, but we are not promoting it as an asset class within our wealth management business.”
Quinn stated that it is very difficult to determine the authenticity of bitcoin owners because of its anonymity, adding that its volatility makes it nearly impossible to easily convert it to fiat.
“I view Bitcoin as more of an asset class than a payments vehicle, with very difficult questions about how to value it on the balance sheet of clients because it is so volatile,” he added.
Stablecoins Are Not Left Out
Although stablecoins, like USDT, are often said to be more stable than other cryptocurrencies, hence the name, HSBC will also not offer them to its clients.
The value of this set of digital currencies is pegged to fiat currencies like the USD or exchange-traded commodities, to avoid the volatility often associated with other cryptocurrencies.
Quinn noted that HSBC will also not venture into the stablecoin space because of the same issue of volatility and lack of transparency.
“For similar reasons, we’re not rushing into stablecoins.”
Earlier in April, HSBC had prohibited clients making use of its online trading platform from purchasing or receiving MicroStrategy stocks, which are bitcoin-backed, stating that it would not allow digital currency trading.
More Banks Join The Crypto Adoption Trend
While banks like HSBC are shunning the idea of offering crypto-related services to their clients, several other banks are welcoming this rapidly growing industry with open arms.