In a recent development, it has come to light that an Indian Bank has been reportedly “forcing” customers to agree to a precondition that they wouldn’t indulge in “any transactions related to cryptocurrency including bitcoins” when signing up for a new account. In addition to this, it has been reported that some banks are blocking existing customers from using their accounts if they are found to have dabbled in crypto-related transactions.
This comes at a time when the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), has imposed certain banking restrictions, and are said to be urging the public not to deal in any crypto-related transactions.
Twitter user Indiancryptogirl, “@Desicryptohodlr,” tweeted a screenshot of Kotak Mahindra Bank’s account opening agreement on Tuesday. Of the many declarations required to get your account opened, one said:
“I hereby declare that I will not deal with any transactions related to cryptocurrency including bitcoins. I also understand and agree that the bank reserves all right to close my account without further intimation in case I am found to undertake such transactions.”
The Indiancryptogirl said that this message had started to appear as the last checkbox for account creation for the last 1 month. She stated that this checkbox cannot be skipped and has to be agreed to in order to open an account in Kotak Mahindra Bank. Else, one simply cannot hope to make use of its banking services.
The bank has made it clear to customers its cryptocurrency policy by sending them emails and SMS notifications about the same over the past 6 months. This is in light of an RBI circular prohibiting banks to provide services for crypto associated businesses.
She has also been reported to say that nowadays, the bank has automatically started to” force users to accept their notice while opening a new account with them.”
A spokesperson from the Indian Exchange Instashift, who has some knowledge of the issue, has said that Kotak Mahindra Bank being a non-nationalized private bank will certainly have to work strictly within the regulatory framework provided by the RBI, or their operating license would be revoked.
Providing further insight into the topic, he says that banks in the same mould as Kotak are keeping an eye out on transactions and blocking the accounts which they feel might be engaging in crypto-related trade. This all is being done to prevent them from falling foul of the RBI regulations.
Regardless, the spokesperson stated that:
“But as per law, it’s the individual’s choice what to do with his hard earned money and the RBI has not banned cryptocurrency.”