- Italian bank UniCredit has been fined $144 million over unlawfully closing the account of a crypto mining company
- UniCredit closed the account of a subsidiary of Bitminer Factory without warning
- The court found that there was nothing to prevent UniCredit from serving the company
A court in Bosnia and Herzegovina has ruled that a branch of Italian banking giant UniCredit acted unlawfully when it closed the accounts of cryptocurrency miners in the country, hitting it with a €131 million ($144 million) fine. The mining company, a subsidiary of crypto mining company Bitminer Factory, sued the bank after its accounts were unceremoniously shut, preventing an ICO associated with the company from going ahead, and the district court agreed, ruling that UniCredit owed the subsidiary the huge fine in damages.
Mining Firm Found Banking Support Halted
Bitminer Factory’s subsidiary had planned an ICO to help a number of startup projects in the cryptocurrency mining sector that planned to use some of the country’s renewable energy resources. The company opened a bank account with UniCredit, which for some time allowed them to withdraw profits from the sale of mined crypto to their accounts, but suddenly the account was frozen, with UniCredit stating that it could not service cryptocurrency businesses and suppliers.
The Bitminer Factory subsidiary took UniCredit to court over the matter, where it emerged that the bank could not present evidence of any written rules that the subsidiary had contravened and which prevented it from serving cryptocurrency businesses.
UniCredit Will Appeal Ruling
UniCredit said that the ruling was “not definitive, binding, nor enforceable” adding that it was going to follow “all available procedural remedies” to get the decision reversed and would only accept it if the appeals court upheld the ruling.