You don’t read this often, but a bank has been reprimanded and has to pay a heavy fine. Italian bank UniCredit has been fined €131 million for wrongfully blocking a bitcoin miner’s bank account.
UniCredit is the second largest bank in Italy. The bank closed the account of a crypto miner, but the miner did not agree, he considered this an illegal decision. The judge has decided a fine for lost income, but the bank disagrees again, it seems that they want to appeal the decision.
Italians fight in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Therefore, both parties are of Italian descent. UniCredit is the bank and Bitminer Factory is the first and of course the largest mining company in Italy. However, the decision was made at the Banja Luka court in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
More precisely, it is a subsidiary of Bitminer Factory, it is called Bitminer Factory doo Gradiska. and launched in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The mining company was starting a project to mine bitcoins in that country in a sustainable way and with renewable energy. The bank accounts were opened at UniCredit Bank Banja Luka, a local branch of the Italian bank.
Bitminer Factory was initially assigned an account without too much trouble and multiple transactions could be made. But suddenly the bank rejected these transactions because “they couldn’t do business with digital currency providers and exchanges.”
To raise money, they imagined an ICO, but it couldn’t happen because their bank accounts were closed.
ICO stands for Initial Coin Offering and can be better compared to a crowdfund, but with crypto. Interested parties can often invest with bitcoin, ethereum, or another major digital currency and receive a company-issued cryptocurrency in return.
The position is old fashioned
UniCredit (or at least the local variant, that’s not entirely clear) has a ridiculous policy of not entering into relationships or partnerships with digital currency providers and cryptocurrency exchanges. This is a position taken by many banks around the world, including in the Netherlands, although the status quo is changing.
However, this policy is not written into UniCredit, not even in the fine print, which is why the court ruled that the bank failed to show any written rules that would prevent it from working with clients in the cryptocurrency space.
According to local media, the bank has already appealed the court’s decision, saying it “is not final, binding or enforceable.”
UniCredit added that its “potential liability will be determined only by the ultimate outcome of all available procedural remedies and not before the rendering of a final and binding decision by the Court of Appeals.”
Big toe in Russian porridge
The last time UniCredit made headlines it was for its large investments in Russia. If they were to cancel all of their Russian activities, including those that cross multiple national borders, it would cost around €7.4 billion. For the amount of this amount, your capital distribution hangs in the balance. However, they say they can still pay dividends even in the extreme scenario where all these Russian investments would go to 0.