HSBC has reportedly changed its cryptocurrency policy. The bank now bans customers from buying shares in public companies like Microstrategy that hold Bitcoin. Any company with Bitcoin Treasuries could be on the chopping block with HSBC.

HSBC is now preventing customers from buying crypto and crypto-related stocks like Microstrategy

UK bank HSBC has reportedly tightened its crypto policy. The bank is now banning its customers from buying shares in public companies that hold Bitcoin in their treasury.

An HSBC customer shared a message they received from the bank informing them of a policy change regarding cryptocurrencies, citing Bitcoin and Ethereum as examples. The bank’s new policy applies to “products that relate to or refer to the performance of virtual currencies”. The hint reads:

HIDC [HSBC Invest Direct] will not participate in the facilitation (purchase and / or exchange) of products relating to virtual currencies or of products relating to or relating to the performance of virtual currencies.

One share in particular is singled out in the announcement. “Our records show that your HSBC Invest Direct account contains Microstrategy Inc-A – MSTR-US, a virtual currency product.”

While Microstrategy doesn’t offer crypto services, it has been buying BTC heavily since October last year. The company has amassed nearly 100,000 BTC and made acquiring the cryptocurrency one of its main goals.

The message from HSBC continues:

While we allow MSTR-US’s inventory to be held and / or sold / transferred in your HSBC Invest Direct account, new purchases or transfers are not allowed.

A tip from HSBC on Twitter from @camadamus. Source: @camadamus

The UK bank has not specified how much Bitcoin a company must hold in order for its shares to be banned from the bank. Microstrategy has made it a policy to keep 100% of its treasury reserves in BTC.

A rapidly growing list of companies has stated that they invest in Bitcoin, but usually in lower percentages than Microstrategy. That includes Elon Musk’s Tesla, which invested $ 1.5 billion in January. Jack Dorseys Square Inc. has also invested 5% of its total cash reserves in Bitcoin. The website bitcointreasuries.org has compiled a growing list of companies with Bitcoin in their treasuries.

A Twitter user commented on the situation, speculating that HSBC Canada “is likely to arbitrarily decide what percentage of Bitcoin reserves customers can invest in”.

The HSBC client who received the announcement tweeted to Michael Saylor, CEO of Microstrategy, “You may want to ask your legal team if what HSBC Canada is doing here is legal. It sure doesn’t sound like it is. They will not allow us to buy Microstrategy. Regarding all Bitcoin investing companies, he continued, “All of these companies may be on the chopping block for holding BTC. This is the opposite of ‘free market’. “

What do you think of HSBC’s new crypto policy? Let us know in the comments below.

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