By John Reynolds on Monday 30 May 2022
Brian Moynihan, Bank of America CEO, told a journalist "no" when asked if the bank was missing out on the next thing by not making a major play in crypto.
Earlier this month it was Christine Lagarde, now it’s the CEO of the second-biggest bank in the US, who is the latest high-profile financial services executive to strike a blow against crypto.
“No,” said Brian Moynihan, Bank of America CEO, when asked by a Yahoo journalist if he felt the bank was missing out on the next big thing by not making a major play in crypto.
Moynihan, who has been the bank’s CEO for the past 12 years, said regulatory constraints prevented the bank from making a major crypto push.
He said: “The reality is that we can’t do it. By regulation, we are not really allowed to engage. We are not engaging in accounts for people in cryptocurrency, we are not allowed to.
“[The regulator] said ‘you have to ask us before you do it and by the way don’t ask’ is basically their tone.”
Instead of making a concerted push into crypto, Moynihan said: “Our big thing is helping consumers in America have a successful financial life.
"Our life plans, financial planning tool— four or five million users— only started three years ago. That's what you need to do, is get people to learn how to make their money work more for them to help in their lives."
Earlier this month, the president of the European Central Bank Lagarde said crypto was “worth nothing” and has called on it to be regulated.
The negative comments about crypto from two high profile finance executive comes at a tough time for the crypto market with the likes of bitcoin and ether plummeting over 5O per cent from last year’s peak while the industry is also facing pressure for more regulatory scrutiny.
"I have said all along the crypto assets are highly speculative, very risky assets," Lagarde told the Dutch television show College Tour.
“My very humble assessment is that it is worth nothing, it is based on nothing, there is no underlying asset to act as an anchor of safety.”