Noel Quinn, CEO of HSBC, a British investment bank and the largest bank in Europe, says the bank has no plans yet to enter the world of cryptocurrencies.
The CEO said in an interview with Reuters on May 24 that HSBC has no plans to launch a trading division for crypto like bitcoin (BTC), nor will the bank offer crypto as an investment to its customers.
Quinn says that crypto as bitcoin is too volatile and he believes there is a lack of transparency. According to the CEO, it is difficult to find out who owns crypto and there are problems with converting to fiat currency.
“Given the volatility, we don't like Bitcoin as an asset class. If our clients want to be there, of course they are, but we don't promote it as an investment category within our asset management. ”
The bank director is slightly more positive about stablecoins, but HSBC does not want to start on that either:
“I see bitcoin more as an asset class than a payment vehicle with very difficult questions about how to value it on customers' balance sheets because it is so volatile. Then you get stablecoins, which do have some backup support to address the stored value concerns, but it depends who the sponsoring organization is plus the structure and accessibility of the reserve. ”
Quinn sees potential in stablecoins issued by a central bank, so-called central bank digital currencies (CBDCs):
"CBDCs can facilitate international transactions in e-wallets more easily, they remove frictional costs and are likely to operate in a transparent manner and have strong attributes of stored value."
The negative attitude towards crypto comes as no surprise. The bank blocked its customers from buying MicroStrategy (MSTR) stock in April due to its bitcoin investments. On the other hand, we have seen other banks embracing the crypto sector more and more recently.