On December 15th 2014 we launched UK Faster Payments. On January 13th 2015 we received a letter from our UK bank that our accounts will be shut down within 14 days. Since then we have done everything in our power to reverse this decision. Unfortunately these efforts were fruitless as we received confirmation that the decision was definite. For our UK customers this means that for the time being we can only offer international bank wires.
With a group of Bitcoin companies we jointly responded to HM Treasury’s ‘Call for Information’ on Digital Currencies. We anticipate that this will lead to regulatory guidelines that will bring about change to the catch 22 situation the UK is in. The timeline for this is still unknown.
To be crystal clear, there was no base for the decision to shut our accounts down in relation to Safello’s operation nor were we unclear in our communication towards the UK bank prior to getting our accounts approved. As a Swedish company we are, unlike UK Bitcoin companies, regulated by the financial authority. Our AML/KYC policy is above and beyond the minimum requirement to ensure that this is simply not a reason to deny us bank accounts or to shut us down.
To preserve our relationship with the banks we will refrain from going into further details, but what we can say is that everything we stated in our press release at launch was accurate. In their defence, it is hard to take a stance as a smaller bank with the dependency on clearing partners.
In summary, this is a sign of the times and just another day in Bitcoinland. To finish on a lighter note, let us put things in perspective:
On behalf of all of us at Safello, our apologies for the inconvenience.