The line has been drawn. HSBC CEO has made it clear that the bank will not launch a Bitcoin trading desk, and it has no plans to offer cryptocurrency investments either.
And that’s final!
This comes as major banks are beginning to offer crypto services, including titanic organizations like Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and UBS. Even smaller banks in the United States are in now in on the action, albeit in partnership with other crypto organizations.
At the same time, HSBC is out there, baring clients from buying stock of firms with Bitcoin treasuries.
And the decision seems to be coming from the top.
HSBC CEO Noel Quinn views Bitcoin as an asset class rather than a payments vehicle, but the bank is not rushing into providing cryptocurrency investments. This was confirmed in a Reuters story that went live Monday, where he was quoted as saying:
“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 … For similar reasons, we’re not rushing into stablecoins.”
The HSBC executive explained that he is skeptical of cryptocurrencies partly because it is difficult to assess the transparency of who owns them, as well as problems with their ready convertibility into fiat money.
Quinn further shared:
“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.”
Furthermore, he explained then that you get to stablecoins, which do have some reserve backing them to address the stored value concerns. But then again, it depends on who the sponsoring organization is, plus the structure and accessibility of the reserve.
Moral of the story?
HSBC has taken a stance.
It not been friendly to Bitcoin or any cryptocurrencies for that matter right from the start, and the bank is in no mood to change strategy regarding this paradigm shift.
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