Metropolitan Bank Denies Policy Change on Crypto Wire Transfers

Metropolitan Commercial Bank is pushing back against reports that it has moved to halt international wires related to cryptocurrencies.

In a statement published Tuesday morning, the bank’s parent company, Metropolitan Bank Holding Corp., said it was responding to “erroneous statements contained in articles” regarding its policies, which it said hadn’t been changed.

The statement comes two days after reports indicated that the bank had ceased international wire transfers related to cryptocurrencies because it was unable to verify that overseas banks complied with certain rules or regulations. In addition, according to Fortune’s report, the push was “alleged to be a response to an incident of international fraud associated with one of the bank’s clients.”

The company pushed back on that point as well in the Jan. 16 response, stating:

“This is a long-standing policy of the Bank and remains in effect today. Last week, the Bank sent out a reminder to customers of its policy against accepting cryptocurrency-related wire transfers from non-U.S. entities. This reminder to customers is not a new policy for the Bank and was not due to, nor did the Bank experience, any “incident of international fraud.”

The release made no mention of domestic wire transfers or international wires from U.S. entities. As well, Metropolitan’s comments highlighted that its existing policy is a result of a risk-avoidance strategy within the bank.

“The bank’s long-standing policy of not accepting cryptocurrency-related wire transfers from non-U.S. entities is part of its robust risk management program that is designed to ensure the safe and sound operations of the Bank in compliance with applicable laws, rules and guidance,” the firm said.

New York skyscraper image via Shutterstock

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