Portugal’s consumer watchdog, Deco, has claimed that the country’s banks have “no known legal basis” to block bitcoin-related transactions.
Banco Santander Totta, is stopping bitcoin-related transactions and has claimed that cryptocurrency exchanges are non-regulated financial products.
The bank is refusing to process transactions to and from exchanges such as Coinbase and Bitstamp. In response, some clients have changed banks, while others decided to complain to Deco which has made it clear to Santander Totta that there is, “no known legal basis” to support its action, stating, “Santander’s barriers on international interbank transfers to bank accounts associated with cryptocurrency sites are not supported by any known legal basis.”
The consumer protection organisation said that the Bank of Portugal already has sent it a notice stating that bitcoin has no legal framework in Portugal and therefore, bitcoin-related activities are outside its supervisory remit.
The Bank of Portugal has warned investors against cryptocurrency investments, considering them ‘risky.’
Santander Totta issued an update on its stance that has led some clients to change banks. The bank said it had not taken steps against cryptocurrencies per se, but that it was overseeing its clients’ activities to ensure the bank complied with “applicable legal regulations.”
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