HSBC CEO Noel Quinn is not interested in cryptocurrencies.
The chief executive speaking to Reuters in an interview said his bank has no plans to launch a cryptocurrency trading desk, they are too volatile and lack transparency, we are not into bitcoin as an asset class.”
According to Reuters, Europe’s largest bank’s stance on cryptocurrencies comes as the world’s biggest and best-known, Bitcoin, has tumbled nearly 50% from the year’s high, after China cracked down on mining the currency and prominent advocate Elon Musk tempered his support.
HSBC competitors like Morgan Stanley has also begun offering some of its clients a way to invest in bitcoin, while Goldman Sachs (GS) recently relaunched its cryptocurrency trading desk.
“Given the volatility we are not into Bitcoin as an asset class, if our clients want to be there then of course they are, but we are not promoting it as an asset class within our wealth management business,” Quinn stated.
“For similar reasons we’re not rushing into stablecoins,” he said, referring to digital currencies such as Tether that seek to avoid the volatility typically associated with cryptocurrencies by pegging their value to assets such as the U.S. dollar.
Bitcoin traded at $36,387 on Monday, down nearly 50% in just 40 days from its year high of $64,895 on April 14.
Pressure on the currency intensified after the billionaire Tesla Chief Executive and cryptocurrency backer Musk reversed his stance on Tesla accepting Bitcoin as payment.
However, Quinn said that he was a believer in central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), which several countries including the United States and China are working on.
“CBDCs can facilitate international transactions in e-wallets more simply, they take out friction costs and they are likely to operate in a transparent manner and have strong attributes of stored value,” he said.
HSBC is talking to several governments about their CBDC initiatives, including countries such as Britain, China, Canada and the United Arab Emirates, he concluded.