The controversy surrounding the response of Unicredit, Italy’s largest bank, to a customer who asked for clarification on 7 January regarding cryptocurrency investments, does not seem to have diminished in intensity.
Unicredit’s “ban” on investing in cryptocurrencies
The bank had hinted that it could close the accounts of those who invested in cryptocurrencies, though a new message on Twitter now seems to want to take a half step back or at least clarify its position.
— UniCredit Italia (@UniCredit_IT) January 12, 2022
But judging by the reactions to the new message, if the intention was to extinguish the controversy, the result does not seem to have been achieved.
Il rischio sarebbe stato 10 anni fà comprare azioni Unicredit invece di BTC visto la parabola discendente del vostro titolo mentre BTC andava solo verso l'alto…un cambiamento di Policy forse sarebbe utile..🤪😜😜
— Roberto Raso (@Cryptozoso) January 12, 2022
Unicredit customers, as well as crypto enthusiasts, do not seem to have reacted very well either to the first slightly intimidating response, or to this clumsy attempt at a U-turn.
In fact, the bank’s response to the user’s request for clarification on 7 January left very little to the imagination, explicitly mentioning a ban on investments in cryptocurrencies.
Non c'è nessun fraintendimento, leggete https://t.co/V3E2Lf66qs
Ho fatto una domanda diretta a #Unicredit proprio per evitare fraintendimenti e hanno risposto in modo chiaro, diretto ed esaustivo.
A meno che non sapete che #Unicredit uscirà con altra nota ufficiale a rettifica
— Chef Luca (@ChefLuca7) January 9, 2022
Bank accounts at risk of closure
The most controversial aspect, namely the possibility of closing one’s bank account, does not seem to have been clarified at all, and according to some users, it is not just a threat, but a real possibility. One user on Twitter shows a registered letter from the bank informing him of the closure of his account, precisely because of the purchase of cryptocurrencies.
Se qualcuno sta ancora pensando di aprire un conto con sti qua, questa è la raccomandata che ho ricevuto a random: guarda mamma come Pablo Escobar pic.twitter.com/xeN16TGIlP
— Dave Shaw (@dshawyt) January 8, 2022
The explanations, quite late, are perhaps also due to the echo of the news that soon spread beyond the Italian borders. The Bitcoin Archive profile, a well-known influencer with over 700,000 thousand followers, has spoken on several occasions about the thing.
Italian Bank Unicredit said it will ban accounts trading in #Bitcoin or crypto.
🤌 Mamma mia, divertiti a restare povero!
— Bitcoin Archive 🗄🚀🌔 (@BTC_Archive) January 10, 2022
Other users report various inefficiencies on the part of bank payment cards when used to transfer funds to cryptocurrency exchanges.
In short, regardless of how one feels about cryptocurrencies, the behaviour of the Italian bank certainly lends itself to more than a few legitimate criticisms, at least regarding the efficiency of those who maintain the company’s social profiles and customer service.
Curiously, Coinbase and Binance, the two main exchanges, were hit last spring by a barrage of criticism from furious users, precisely because of the lack of efficiency of their customer services.