- A court has ruled that Nordea Bank may prohibit its employees from investing in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
- This was decided yesterday by a Danish court in a new judgment.
Nordea Bank, based in Helsiniki, Finland, can now prohibit its employees from investing their money in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The ruling states that the bank’s executives made the right decision, as the risks associated with the investment clearly outweigh the opportunities. Thus, according to the court, the bank’s executives acted correctly under management law by prohibiting employees from investing privately in cryptocurrencies.
In detail, the court describes that the cryptocurrency market is not subject to regulation and therefore employees are not protected against money laundering or illegal activities:
The reason for prohibiting employees from investing in cryptocurrency is that risk is considered to be too high and the protection of both employees and the company must be good enough. Contrary to trading in securities and currencies, trading in cryptocurrency is not regulated by any government, and investors are not protected from unfair trading practices and money laundering when dealing with cryptocurrency.
However, the court grants exceptions for employees if certain conditions are met. Employees may buy cryptocurrencies if the investment is related to products offered by Nordea. In addition, the prohibition does not apply to minor investments in cryptocurrencies made by employees in product development and therefore have a work-related reason for doing so.
Kent Petersen, head of the Danish Finacial Services Union, is not satisfied with the verdict and feels that the personal rights of employees are restricted. He therefore filed a lawsuit against the ban. In his opinion, the ban obviously violates the personal rights of the employees:
We filed suit because of the principle that everyone obviously has a private life and the right to act as a private individual. It was important for us and our members to establish what rights managers have. In this case, it was more far-reaching than what we find to be appropriate.
What effects does the ruling have on the cryptocurrency market?
Nordea is one of the largest financial services groups in Scandinavia and one of the largest banks in Europe. However, the ruling only applies to employees of the bank and not to persons who have an account with the bank. Accordingly, the judgment does not send out a strong signal.
In the past there have been several banks that have banned their customers from buying crypto currencies with their credit or debit cards. For example, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup have prohibited their customers, whether private or corporate, from buying crypto currencies by credit card.
Some exchanges, such as Binance or KuCoin, offer their customers the option of buying crypto currencies directly by credit card. All customers must confirm their identity and provide other personal information that is collected in the KYC process.