Colombian Banks Close Domestic Exchange Accounts
The banks Bancolombia, BBVA and Davivenda have closed the accounts of the domestic crypto exchange Buda in Colombia.
The Financial Superintendency of Colombia had already made several warnings advising financial institutions about the use of their platforms to support cryptocurrencies. In a public letter from Jorge Castano Gutiérrez, Financial Superintendent of Colombia, he explained that “the entities under surveillance are not authorized to intermediate, guard or invest with these instruments.”
Buda began to notice irregularities on the Bancolombia platform on June the 7th. The representatives of the bank told Buda that they canceled their products and did not offer any explanation. Withdrawals have been delayed and are expected to be available by June the 13th.
Other cryptocurrency exchange platforms such as BitINKA and Panda Exchange have not reported these problems.
The Buda team said that the actions of the banks affect not only the company but also the users who seek access to funds in Colombian pesos. The company warned users that their funds are protected and urged them not to worry.
Similar Case In Chile
Buda experienced a similar scenario in Chile in March, when the State Bank of Chile, Scotiabank, Bank Itaú and seven other institutions said they would close cryptocurrency bank accounts due to insufficient regulations. The banks took the same action with the exchanges of Orionx and CryptoMarket as well.
Buda and CryptoMarket asked the banking association of Chile, Association of Banks and Financial Institutions (ABIF), to issue a statement that offers a clear position on cryptocurrencies. The exchanges indicated that they operate secure platforms, have channels to work with local authorities, follow rules against money laundering and against financing of terrorism and pay value added taxes.
ABIF responded that these problems must be resolved between banks and companies.
Chile's Free Competition Defense Court ordered banks to re-open the accounts after a three-month legal battle. The banks reopened the accounts at the end of May.
Debate About Blockchain In Colombia
Recently there was a debate in the Colombian Senate about blockchain technologies and digital currencies. During the debate, which was attended by the National Association of Banks, the Financial Superintendency and the Bank of the Republic, it was observed that the State was responsible for warning about the risks related to cryptocurrencies, but that it had done nothing to impede such operations.