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Investment bank, HSBC vows to steer clear of cryptocurrency

Investment bank, HSBC, has vowed to steer clear of cryptocurrencies because of its volatility and lack of transparency. This was announced by the HSBC Chief, Noel Quinn.

Quinn said: ‘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.

He added that his sceptical attitude towards crypto-currencies arose from the difficulty of working out who owns them, which could leave the bank vulnerable to money laundering. 

Bitcoin prices have fluctuated wildly in recent weeks. In April the coin was closing in on the $65,000 mark but it was trading at around $31,000 over the weekend. Last night it was worth around $37,600.

One of the major triggers for the recent unpredictability has been Elon Musk. The Tesla (TSLA) CEO frequently causes a stir among investors after sharing his views on cryptocurrencies. Some have also tried to trawl his tweets for clues on Tesla’s investment plans for bitcoin.

China has also shaken the market by signaling further plans to curb the industry. Last week, Chinese finance and banking regulators instructed financial institutions and payment firms to not participate in any transactions involving cryptocurrency, or provide related services to their clients.

“It’s easy to get carried away with financial innovation,” Quinn says at a virtual Treasury select committee hearing. “It’s why I’m skeptical about crypto assets, frankly, because they’re dangerous and there’s a huge enthusiasm out there.”