The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has indefinitely suspended its plans for a second pilot program of crypto trading services, excluding access to first-round test takers.
The CBA sent a copy of a bank briefing to Cointelegraph on Tuesday, where CEO Matt Cummin said he was still waiting for regulatory clarification. He added that he was “working very closely, as you can imagine, with a number of regulatory agencies for the proper treatment of this particular product.”
“Our goal at the moment is still to re-launch the pilot, but there are still some things we want to do at the regulatory level to make it the most appropriate.”
Cummins said a Treasury Department application has already been reviewed for the program, but he did not share an expected timeline for its completion.
Cummins said last week’s wild volatility appeared to support the need for an extended delay, although a second pilot program was put on hold in April after financial regulators refused to allow regular banking users easy access to crypto. The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) has rejected the CBA’s services because there is no consumer protection.
He said: “This is clearly a very volatile sector with a lot of interest.”
“But in addition to that instability and awareness and I think scale, of course globally, you see that regulators and people have a lot of interest in thinking about how to control it.”
Cummins further hinted that the bank is awaiting the results of Saturday’s general election. If a new regime comes to power, it could mean a major shift in the crypto-regulatory landscape, which Kamin said would be a “focus for the new government to think about.”
Swinburne University Lecturer in Leadership and Entrepreneurship. Dimitrios Salampasis told The Guardian that when it comes to reputation damage, the CBA may be slow to move forward.
Considering the recent price declines in the crypto market due to the collapse of Terra (LUNA), Dr. Slampasis said that “equilibrium risk, brand equity and regulatory transparency will be key to reducing disruption to CBA’s current business model.”
CBA became the first major bank in Australia to offer crypto services through its mobile app last November. As the pilot progresses, it promises access to the app’s 6.5 million users after a full rollout. So far, those plans have been on hold indefinitely.