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Australian Bitcoin Trader Takes Banks to Tribunal After Sudden Account Closures

A cryptocurrency trader in Australia is seeking 250,000 Australian dollars (US$192,000) in compensation from two banks claiming he was the victim of unlawful discrimination when his accounts were closed with little warning.

Allan Flynn has started proceedings against Westpac and ANZ banks at the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal which closed his accounts soon after they had been opened, reports the Australian Financial Review. 

According to Coindesk, Flynn had operated a digital currency exchange registered with the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC), but stated that he was unable to continue operating without banking services.

The trader said he purchased bitcoin (BTC) on behalf of 450 customers via his business, but over three years had about 20 accounts closed by banks also including CBA, NAB, ING and Bendigo Bank. 

Westpac allegedly told Flynn his account was closed because it was “under investigation for cryptocurrency fraud.” 

“How am I supposed to run a lawful business if I can’t get a bank account?” Flynn told the Australian Financial Review.

He also claimed an ANZ employee had informed other banks and his customers that he was involved in fraud, according to the report.

The trader also stated that he considering raising his compensation request from $250,000 with the recent jump in the price of cryptocurrencies.

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