Financial regulators stand in the way of expanded crypto services on the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) mobile app. As an Australian first, the bank aims to give all of its 6.5 million users access to cryptocurrency services.
The CBA’s crypto products launched a pilot of the services late last year, after which they hoped to open up to all users of their app, but it now appears to be moving towards a second pilot. The Australia Financial Review (AFR) reported on April 6 that the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has imposed red tape on the launch.
ASIC objects to launch based on consumer protections related to target market and product disclosures. CBA has worked with ASIC and several other regulators within the Australian government to launch the services.
Speaking at the Australian Financial Review Cryptocurrency Summit on April 6, ASIC Commissioner Cathie Armor explained her commission’s recent focus on crypto, despite arguments that it was outside of ASIC’s purview. She said that while crypto assets are not necessarily financial products that the commission can regulate, she is concerned:
“Consumers may invest in an environment where they are not offered the same level of protection that applies to financial products and services.”
Fighting new policies from ASIC that ban much of the work of financial influencers, Government Senator Andrew Bragg stated that ASIC’s application of financial product rules cannot be applied to crypto assets as cryptocurrency is not a financial product under Australian law.
In her speech, Armor commented that ASIC’s ability to truly regulate crypto assets “depends on whether they fit within the legal framework for financial products and services,” which she says is “a matter for Parliament.”
Armor added that she sees “real benefits from innovation within our regulatory system,” but warned, “There are a number of rules there that you have to follow.”
“There are a few rules you have to follow.”
The announcement of the CBA’s intent to launch crypto services caused a stir last November as it became the first of the country’s “big four” banks to do so. Blockchain Australia CEO Steve Vallas told Cointelegraph that the move is “extremely important.”
Related: Australian convenience store giant accepts crypto at 170 stores
To make the product a reality, the CBA has partnered with offshore crypto exchange Gemini and blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis. Upon full launch, the product will include Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Litecoin (LTC).
https://cointelegraph.com/news/commonwealth-bank-s-plans-to-expand-crypto-services-to-6-5m-delayed-by-red-tape The Commonwealth Bank’s plans to expand crypto services to 6.5 million have been delayed by bureaucracy