While Swedish banks took hard stance on bitcoin companies, Handelsbanken seems to be favourable of customers working with cryptocurrencies.

Last week Swedish financial giant and Nordic corporate bank SEB closed KnCMiner's account due to the bank's restrictive policy towards cryptocurrencies. KNC Miner had to promptly find a new bank which turned out to be Handelsbanken, according to Swedish media website Breakit.se.

The investigation conducted by Breakit shows that although Swedish banks do not introduce explicit policies against bitcoin companies they are very reluctant to work with them. Bitcoin companies are just not allowed to use mobile banking, for safety and anti-money laundering reasons, a spokesman at Swedbank said.

Another bank Nordea stated that they have a policy to approach every business individually with no regards to the industry sector. Some bitcoin start-ups, however, allegedly have had a different experience with Nordea. The bank refused to look into companies’ details and denied them service straightaway.

Other unnamed bitcoin companies have had a similar experience with Danske Bank, Länsförsäkringar and Swedbank, according to Breakit. In all cases banks responded that they did not work with the bitcoin industry. Whatever their public claims are, among the biggest Swedish banks, such as Swedbank, Skandia Bank, Riksbank,
Danske Bank, and Länsförsäkringar, in fact only Handelsbanken works with bitcoin companies, Swedish media report.

In June 2015 the Sweden’s tax authority (Skatterverket) filed a request to the European Court of Justice to analyse the tax status of bitcoin. The case was related to the dispute between the tax authority and David Hedqvist, a web forum moderator who planned to start selling bitcoins via his website. Later the EU Advocate General Juliane Kokott claimed that conversion of bitcoin to other currencies is exempt from the EU value-added tax regulations.


Aliona Chapel