NatWest Bank boss tells crypto users to give up hope
Economist and NatWest Group chairman Sir Howard Davies said he was “very hostile” to crypto. So much so that he supports China’s recent crackdown, saying the UK should follow suit.
Beijing last month reiterated its calls that cryptocurrencies are being used for illegal financial activities. In coordinated multi-agency action, they seek to shut down all crypto activity within their jurisdiction.
However, banks are never far from engaging in illegal financial activities themselves. A glance at NatWest’s recent history shows that it is far from perfectly clean.
Here is the crypto FUD
Davies did not hold back his thoughts on digital assets when speaking with Andrew Hilton, director of the Center for the Study of Financial Innovation (CSFI),
Asked about the growing number of Britons who now own crypto, Davies expressed his disapproval saying “this is quite worrying.”
Moreover, even though he has said he does not agree with Beijing on everything, he supports their new crackdown on cryptocurrency and mining activity. Adding that the UK should stop “beating around the bush” and adopt similar rules.
“Let’s just ban that damn stuff.” Why beat around the bush here.
On his reasoning for thinking so, Davies said cryptocurrencies are a source of fraud and financial crime. He also said that the extreme volatility makes them useless as a safe haven.
Davies also saw fit to take environmental concerns into account, calling the energy use of the proof-of-work grids a green catastrophe.
He concluded by saying that investing in crypto is a gamble and those who invest should “give up hope”.
“As far as I know, it’s a game, with a kind of libertarian varnish on top. You should put a big sign on the door saying: Give up hope to all who enter into it.
NatWest is charged with money laundering
The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) launched criminal proceedings against NatWest in March.
A statement from the financial watchdog said the bank was under investigation for breaches of the 2007 money laundering regulations. They allege that NatWest failed to comply with the regulations over a period of almost five years, from November 11, 2011 to October 19, 2016.
“These regulations require the company to identify, conduct and demonstrate risk-sensitive due diligence and ongoing monitoring of its relationships with its customers with the goal of preventing money laundering.”
The FCA says a total of £ 365million ($ 494million at today’s rate) has been paid into customers’ accounts without proper checks on where the money is coming from.
NatWest responded by saying that it takes money laundering prevention very seriously and is cooperating with the regulator.
Still, for Davies, denouncing crypto on crime smacks of hypocrisy.
A d: Margin up to 20x on FTX.
Get a edge in the crypto-asset market
Access more crypto information and background in each article as a paying member of CryptoSlate Edge.
Register now for $ 19 / month Discover all the benefits
Like what you see? Subscribe for updates.