Major Spanish bank Santander has been denied an appeal regarding a decision by the Court of Justice of the State of São Paulo in a case against crypto exchange Mercado Bitcoin, Cointelegraph Brazil reports on June 17.
Santander was sued by the Brazilian exchange Mercado Bitcoin in 2018, after the bank purportedly closed the exchange’s account at its sole discretion. The bank, which has branches in Latin America, cited concerns over the origin of the account’s fund due to the nature of the crypto exchange’s activities.
Over 1 million reals (around $350,000) were locked, but the court subsequently ordered Santander to free the funds. Additionally, the bank must pay a monthly fine equal to 1% interest for the funds that were locked; this reportedly comes out to over 200,000 reals ($51,000).
Today’s decision rejected an additional appeal, and reconfirmed the previous ruling that compels Santander to return the funds and pay the fine.
Cryptocurrency exchanges have previously run into problems with banks closing their accounts, as some financial institutions find the cryptocurrency industry to be too unregulated and/or volatile to conduct business with firms in the space.
Last May, Finnish cryptocurrency wallet service Prasos Oy said that it was one step from being shut down, as most Finnish banks would no longer do business with them. Banks were reportedly concerned that doing business with Prasos Oy would run afoul of current Finnish anti-money laundering laws.
Last April, three Chilean crypto exchanges filed complaints with an appeals court over their accounts being frozen by banks in March. The banks Itau Corpbanca and Scotiabank had locked the accounts for the exchanges BUDA and CryptoMKT, and the public bank Banco del Estado de Chile had frozen Orionx’s account as well as BUDA’s and CryptoMKT’s.