Indian banks are putting crypto traders and investors under increasing scrutiny and even threatening to close their personal accounts.
India’s parliament is considering a nationwide crypto ban which local industry critics, including former Coinbase CTO Balaji Srinivasan, have compared to “banning the internet for five years,” Cointelegraph reports.
Customers of HDFC, HSBC and Citi have been receiving notices this year asking them to explain crypto-related transactions and in some cases to visit their local bank branch in person, Economic Times reports. If they do not comply, accounts are at risk of being suspended or seized.
One letter to a customer said, “To comply with the regulatory guidelines, banks are advised to exercise due diligence by closely examining the transactions carried out in the account on an ongoing basis to caution users, holders and traders of virtual currencies including bitcoins regarding risks.”
In 2020, India’s Supreme Court reversed an order from the Reserve Bank of India in which banks were told to stop serving crypto traders.