iNVEZZ.com, Tuesday, December 2, HSBC Holdings Plc’s (LON:HSBA) has severed ties with Global Advisors (GA), a Jersey-based firm that manages the world’s first regulated Bitcoin investment fund.
**HSBC to close GA’s bank account over suspicion of money laundering**
GA said it had received a notice from HSBC stating that the company’s bank account would be closed in 60 days. Following a meeting between GA officials and HSBC representatives at the company’s office in Jersey it became clear that the bank was concerned that Global Advisors’ account was at risk of potential money laundering.
HSBC declined to reveal whether GA held an account with it, saying that it does not disclose whether a business is or has been a customer in the past.
The bank told Bitcoin industry news agency CoinDesk:
“In reviewing our portfolio, we have identified a number of relationships that don’t meet our strategic criteria. We don’t take the commercial decision to end a customer relationship lightly, and when we do so it follows careful consideration of that relationship in light of our strategic focus or global risk management standards.”
**’A step in the wrong direction for Jersey’**
Daniel Masters, director at GA holdings, told the BBC that the announcement threatens well publicised plans to transform Jersey into a global digital currency centre. Masters launched the Global Advisors Bitcoin Investment Fund (GABI) in August after it was certified by the Jersey Financial Services Commission. According to him, the move by HSBC was a “step in the wrong direction” for the development of the Crown dependency.
Unregulated Bitcoin funds exist elsewhere, but the official license allowed major investors, such as pension funds and insurance companies, to speculate on Bitcoin for the first time. Masters added that having his accounts closed by HSBC is only the latest difficulty faced by GABI.
**Analysts on HSBC share price**
According to the Financial Times, as of Nov 29, 2014, the consensus forecast amongst 58 polled investment analysts covering HSBC Holdings plc has it that investors should hold their position in the company. The same consensus estimate has been maintained since the sentiment of investment analysts deteriorated on November 26, 2014, the FT notes. The previous consensus forecast advised that the FTSE 100 listed bank would outperform the market.
As of 13:55 GMT, HSBC’s share price was trading 1.62 percent higher at 635.10p.
**As of 13:55 GMT buy HSBC shares at 635.10p**
**As of 13:55 GMT sell HSBC shares at 635.00p**
As of 14:55 GMT, Tuesday, 02 December, HSBC Holdings plc share price is 635.50p.