Citibank India is the latest major bank to ban its customers from using credit cards for purchasing cryptocurrencies, but it has taken the measure one step further by banning the use of debit cards for crypto purchases as well, Quartz India reports today, Feb. 14.
Quartz India wrote today that it personally reviewed an email from Citibank India sent to customers on Feb. 13 that said the following:
Given concerns, both globally and locally, including from the Reserve Bank of India, cautioning members of the public regarding the potential economic, financial, operational, legal, customer protection, and security-related risks associated in dealing with bitcoins, cryptocurrencies, and virtual currencies, Citi India has decided to not permit usage of its credit and debit cards towards purchase or trading of such bitcoins, cryptocurrencies and virtual currencies.”
Citibank India is a subsidiary of Citigroup, which is a multinational investment banking and financial services corporation that had banned all credit card purchases of crypto last week. Citigroup’s ban came alongside that of J.P. Morgan Chase and Bank of America, and was followed by credit card bans by both Lloyds Banking Group and Virgin Money.
The Indian government has been indecisive about its stance on Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies. The Minister of Finance calling Bitcoin a “Ponzi scheme” in Dec. 2017, but Indian banks also acting positively towards Blockchain technology.
In mid-January, many Indian banks suspended or closed the accounts of crypto exchanges, citing a risk for “dubious transactions”. On Feb. 1, misinterpretation of the Indian Finance Minister’s regulatory comments as a total crypto ban brought crypto markets down globally.