Spanish banks are interested in providing cryptocurrency services directly to clients and expect the Spanish Central Bank to bring regulatory clarity on this matter.
Last June, Spanish legislatures proposed amendments requiring cryptocurrency service operators to register with the Bank of Spain. The regulator planned to submit recommendations for registering cryptocurrency firms and trading platforms by October 29, however, this guide has not yet appeared.
Given the uncertainty surrounding the regulation of cryptoassets, Spanish banks wishing to work with cryptocurrencies are unsure if they need to apply for registration.
informs CincoDías edition.
Banks and financial institutions do not understand whether they need to get into the register of cryptocurrency service operators if they are already under the supervision of the regulator. Therefore, due to the lack of clear guidance from the Spanish Central Bank, local financial institutions have already reached out to regulators for clarification on whether to apply for registration to add support for cryptocurrencies. In June, the Swiss branch of the Spanish bank Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) has already begun to provide private clients with services for the storage and trading of bitcoin.
“It would seem that it makes no sense for banks to comply with these requirements, since their activities are already controlled by the Bank of Spain. However, they are required to notify the regulator of their intention to provide customers with access to digital assets. They will probably need to change their anti-money laundering policy to adapt it to cryptoassets, ”commented Gloria Hernández Aler, partner at the consulting firm finReg360.
Earlier, the Central Bank of Spain called investments in cryptocurrencies risky due to their high volatility, cybersecurity risks and lack of consumer protection. However, last year the central bank expressed its readiness to explore the possibility of launching its own digital currency.