A major bank in Thailand, Bangkok Bank, recently blocked transactions going through the account of a local cryptocurrency exchange, the Thai Digital Asset Exchange (TDAX). The reason behind the move was seemingly missing documents, according to local news outlet the Bangkok Post.
The news outlet details that this made Bangkok Bank the first financial institution in the country to halt transactions involving cryptocurrency trading. A source close to the issue at the Bangkok Bank revealed that TDAX opened a savings account there, but that a few documents were missing.
As such, the bank’s response was to “block all transactions through the account”. To justify its move, the bank cited an announcement the country’s central bank issued last week, urging financial institutions not to get involved in five different cryptocurrency-related activities. None of which, however, involves opening accounts for crypto exchanges.
TDAX’s chief executive officer (CEO), Poramin Insom, revealed that the company was seemingly sought out by the bank. He stated:
“The bank called and asked whether there was an operating licence for proof, but I answered that this business was not under legal jurisdiction, so the bank said it would terminate the company’s bank account, as this business had no licence.”
Since its transactions were blocked, TDAX decided to close its account with Bangkok Bank. It further added that the bank has no mandate to force customers to open or close an account with it.
Thai exchange’s trading unaffected
TDAX is a major Thai cryptocurrency exchange. It reportedly has 5.5 million baht ($175,000) worth of registered capital, and plans to add more to apply for an initial coin offering (ICO) license with the country’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Despite losing its account at the Bangkok Bank, its CEO Insom noted that traders could still trade bitcoin and 10 other different cryptocurrencies using its platform. He noted that TDAX still has an account with three other banks. These are Kasikornbank (KBank), Krungthai Bank, and Siam Commercial Bank.
Kbank, another major Thai bank, revealed it still works with TDAX. A spokesperson stated:
“The bank is still facilitating TDAX financial transactions through its account after the bank discussed the matter with the central bank and found that such an account is not regarded as supporting customers in making virtual currency transactions.”
Featured image from DepositPhotos.