Allan Flynn, a Bitcoin trader in Australia, has filed a complaint against two commercial banks ANZ and Westpac, accusing both of systematic discrimination. According to the Australian Financial Review report, Flynn is seeking compensation to the tune of 250,000 Australian dollars (about $192,000). According to Flynn, he has been the victim of discriminatory practices, with banks allegedly continuing to shut down his accounts. Flynn lamented that no fewer than 20 banks closed accounts operated by his exchange in the last three years.
The crypto exchange service is registered with AUSTRAC.
The reported account closures come despite Flynn’s crypto exchange service being registered with the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre, or AUSTRAC. Flynn’s platform reportedly services over 450 customers. Earlier last year, the crypto exchange operator lodged a complaint with the Australian Financial Complaints Authority. However, AFCA ruled that Westpac — one of the banks involved in the matter — acted per its laid down terms and conditions. At the time, Westpac offered Flynn 250 Australian dollars as restitution for the sudden account closure, which the complainant says he is yet to receive.
Banks denying services to crypto exchanges is not restricted to Australia.
Crypto exchanges accusing banks of discriminatory practices are not restricted to Australia alone. Earlier last year, India’s Supreme Court reversed the central bank’s ban against banks servicing crypto businesses. However, reports still emerged of “crypto-phobic” behavior among Indian banks even after the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn RBI’s blanket ban on cryptocurrencies. A similar situation also exists across Latin America, where commercial banks continue to intensify account closures targeted at crypto exchanges. In Brazil, two major platforms were also forced to shut down their operations following stringent tax compliance policies.