Spanish banks are interested in providing cryptocurrency services directly to clients and expect the Spanish Central Bank will bring regulatory clarity for crypto.
Last June, the Spanish legislature proposed amendments requiring crypto service providers to register with the Bank of Spain. The regulator plan to bring recommendations for registering cryptocurrency firms and trading platforms by October 29.
Cinco Días, dean of the economic and business press in Spain reports given the uncertainty surrounding the regulation of crypto assets, Spanish banks wishing to work with cryptocurrencies are not sure whether to provide crypto services or not because of unclear crypto rules and regulations.
Therefore, due to the lack of clear guidance from the Spanish Central Bank, local financial institutions have reached out to the regulator for clarification on whether to apply for registration to add support for crypto or not.
In June, the Swiss branch of the Spanish bank Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) has started to provide private clients with services for the storage and trading of bitcoin.
Gloria Hernández Aler, partner at the consulting firm finReg360 said:
“It makes no sense for banks not providing crypto services since their activities are already controlled by the Bank of Spain. However, they are required to notify the regulator of their intentions to provide customers with digital assets access. Banks also might need to change their anti-money laundering policy for adopting crypto-assets.”
Earlier, the Central Bank of Spain called investments in cryptocurrencies risky due to their high volatility, hacking risks, and lack of consumer protection rules. Last year the Spain central bank expressed its readiness to explore the possibility of launching its digital currency (CBDC).