Mr Sims rejected the suggestion that the ACCCs inquiry had failed to hear from the victims, telling the Financial Review it had heard from some debanked companies that claimed their businesses had full traceability to address AML/CTF concerns.
However, he said the banks had given investigators good access to documents and individually provided credible and different explanations about the decisions to cut off companies. He said the ACCC had decided there was currently no need to launch an in-depth investigation.
“We understand the concern here, because in a sense these companies have been excluded from the marketplace, but there does seem to be a justifiable reason,” Mr Sims said.
“Our investigators are well trained and can sniff things pretty quickly, and this had the smell of being a very reasonable explanation … but we will keep watching the sector very closely because we are acutely conscious that with new economy start-ups, we want to make sure that the established players aren’t stopping their progression.”
Mr Sims said it was beholden on bitcoin companies to demonstrate to banks that their systems could be traced and guaranteed against breaching AML/CTF requirements, and if banks still refused to deal with them after that then further investigation could be required.