Rabobank Fined $369M for Money Laundering After Calling Bitcoin 'Risky'

Wilma Woo · February 9, 2018 · 1:30 pm

Rabobank, a major Dutch bank which last week refused to service Bitcoin businesses due to “compliance risks,” has been fined $369 million for money laundering.

Rabobank’s $369M: ‘Hurry Up Bitcoin’

As various news resources report, Rabobank was one of the major Dutch institutions outright rejecting cryptocurrency entrepreneurs.

Now, in a case linked to Mexican drugs money trafficking, the bank’s California unit pleaded guilty to conspiracy, being served a multimillion dollar fine but with officials conspicuously avoiding custodial sentences, cryptocurrency industry commentators note.

Last week Rabobank refused #cryptocurrency businesses to open a bank account due to money laundering risks. Today they get fined, still make a profit and nobody goes to jail. What a circus. Hurry up #Bitcoinhttps://t.co/UD9oOmO7IL

— Sam Wouters (@SDWouters) February 8, 2018

“The subsidiary, Rabobank National Association, said it doesn’t dispute that it accepted at least $369 million in illegal proceeds from drug trafficking and other activity from 2009 to 2012,” the Associated Press reported Thursday.

It pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States for participating in a cover-up when regulators began asking questions in 2013.

Banks’ Twisted Tales On Bitcoin Relationship

In contrast to the willingness of businesses and government structures alike to provide a nurturing environment for cryptocurrency, banks in the Netherlands continue to take an often unreliable position on the technology.

Rabobank’s website contains a dedicated page on the “opportunities and dangers” of Bitcoin and altcoins, quoting spokesperson Roel Steenbergen’s view that cryptocurrency “will continue to exist alongside the other forms of money we are familiar with.”

“The old and the new world have to and will find each other – this is what parties on all sides are looking for. For now, paper money and coinage will continue to exist as normal. I do not see this disappearing,” Steenbergen concludes.

The phenomenon meanwhile continues in countries throughout the world, notably in the US and UK, with banks Barclays and global giant HSBC nonetheless going on record to state their position on serving businesses.

Barclays’ record in particular had been sketchy, with frequent reports of account freezes and shutdowns surfacing over the past few years.

What do you think about Rabobank’s handling of Bitcoin? Let us know in the comments below!

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