HSBC Won't Offer Bitcoin, Crypto Service to Wealthy, Reuters Says

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HSBC Holdings Plc has no plans to start a cryptocurrency trading desk or sell digital currencies as an investment to customers, Reuters reported, citing an interview with Chief Executive Officer Noel Quinn.

The bank isn’t into Bitcoin given its volatility and isn’t promoting it as an asset class within its wealth management business, Quinn said, according to the news agency.

China, a crucial part of HSBC’s pivot to Asia strategy, has continued to clamp down on cryptocurrencies. The People’s Bank of China issued a fresh warning last week that virtual currencies can’t be used as money. Beijing, which is developing a digital yuan, has since 2017 abolished initial coin offerings and clamped down on virtual currency trading within its borders, forcing many exchanges overseas.

HSBC’s conservative view on Bitcoin is a long-held position. Chief Financial Officer Ewen Stevenson said in February that he remains cautious on Bitcoin, but that the bank is open to digital currencies, particularly those linked to central banks.

In 2018, former Chief Executive Officer John Flint said the bank was “very skeptical” about cryptocurrencies.

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