Major Blow Dealt in Danish Court: Bitcoin Not Suitable for Bank’s Staff
A Danish court today ruled that Nordea Bank Danmark A/S has the right to say whether its employees can invest in Bitcoin. The bank first introduced a policy prohibiting crypto purchases last year.
Denmark’s union for financial industry employees launched a subsequent legal challenge against the bank. However, a court yesterday decided that the risks associated with Bitcoin investment were sufficient to justify the clear invasion of personal privacy.
Court Sides with Nordea: Employees Can’t Buy Bitcoin
According to a report in Bloomberg citing the recent verdict of a Copenhagen labour court the Danish bank Nordea Bank Danmark A/S has won a legal challenge brought against it by the nation’s union for financial industry employees. The court sided with the financial institution and said that it had the right to prevent employees from buying Bitcoin or other crypto assets.
The court ruled that the risks associated with investing in cryptocurrencies justified the policy. Nordea originally used the same justification for it in January 2008 in the staff memo that informed employees of the change. The bank wrote at the time that potential links between Bitcoin and criminal activity and the lack of regulation surrounding the market risked discrediting Nordea if customers discovered that bank staff were investing in crypto assets.
The original memo, reported by NewsBTC at the beginning of last year, did exempt products financial products (like futures contracts) from the employee investment restrictions. Similarly, it allowed those employees already with exposure to digital currencies to keep their holdings.
Nordea Bank Danmark A/S is part of the Nordea Group, the largest financial group of Northern Europe. The Chief Executive Officer of the entire group, Casper von Koskull, is also known to be hostile Bitcoin. He’s previously called it an “absurd” construction that completely defies logic. Like many other critics of cryptocurrency, he also mentioned its use supposed use in financial crimes.
Despite Nordea being clearly averse to the supposed criminal risks of Bitcoin, Twitter-based crypto market analyst Rhythm (@Rhythmtrader) reminded followers that the very same financial institutional was raided earlier this year by authorities for none of than the crime of money laundering.
According to a report in Reuters from June, Nordea Bank Danmark A/S had been under investigation for the three years prior to the raid. The bank allegedly handled as much as $793 million of criminal funds, some linked to Russian criminals. Other banks from the region are also suspected of facilitating similar instances of money laundering, often via branches located in Baltic countries.