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HSBC CEO Says Bitcoin is Not an Asset of Interest For Them

Benson Toti
The entrance to an HSBC bank

The CEO of HSBC bank has revealed that the financial institution doesn’t consider Bitcoin an asset for them.

The chief executive officer of HSBC, one of the world’s leading banks, has revealed that the bank doesn’t consider Bitcoin to be an asset for them for the time being. CEO Noel Quinn told Reuters yesterday that the bank has no plans to launch a crypto trading desk or offer BTC as an investment vehicle soon. The CEO said Bitcoin’s volatility and its lack of transparency are putting the bank off for now.

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,” he added.

According to Quinn, Bitcoin has a huge transparency problem because it is difficult to know who owns it. He also highlighted the issue of converting cryptocurrencies to fiat currencies with ease. Quinn also criticised stablecoins, stating that “Then you get to stablecoins, which do have some reserve backing behind them to address the stored value concerns, but it depends on who the sponsoring organisation is plus the structure and accessibility of the reserve.”

HSBC is one of the banks that is yet to open up to cryptocurrencies. The financial institution has made it tough for its customers to access cryptocurrency services. In April, HSBC’s online share-dealing service HSBC InvestDirect banned its clients from buying MicroStrategy shares due to MicroStrategy’s Bitcoin investments. At the time, the bank said it doesn’t have any appetite for direct exposure to cryptocurrencies and has a limited appetite towards supporting products or securities that derive their value from cryptos.

Other major investment banks such as Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, UBS, JPMorgan and Citi have all ventured into the crypto space in varying capacities.

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