HSBC has no plans to launch a cryptocurrency trading desk or offer the digital coins as an investment to customers, because they are too volatile and lack transparency, its Chief Executive Noel Quinn told Reuters.
Europe’s biggest bank’s stance on cryptocurrencies comes as the world’s biggest and best-known, Bitcoin, has tumbled nearly 50 per cent from the year’s high, after China cracked down on mining the currency and prominent advocate Elon Musk tempered his support.
HSBC’s stance also contrasts with rival banks such as Goldman Sachs, which Reuters in March reported had restarted its cryptocurrency trading desk.
“Given the volatility we are not into Bitcoin as an asset class, if our clients want to be there then of course they are, but we are not promoting it as an asset class within our wealth management business,” Quinn said.
“For similar reasons we’re not rushing into stablecoins,” he said, referring to the digital currencies that seek to avoid the volatility associated with typical cryptocurrencies by pegging their value to assets such as the US dollar.