Major Spanish bank Santander has been denied an appeal regarding a decision by the Court of Justice of the State of São Paulo in a case against crypto exchange Mercado Bitcoin.
Santander was sued by the Brazilian exchange Mercado Bitcoin in 2018, after the bank purportedly closed the exchange’s account at its sole discretion. The bank, which has branches in Latin America, cited concerns over the origin of the account’s fund due to the nature of the crypto exchange’s activities.
Over 1 million reals (around $350,000) were locked, but the court subsequently ordered Santander to free the funds. Additionally, the bank must pay a monthly fine equal to 1% interest for the funds that were locked; this reportedly comes out to over 200,000 reals ($51,000).
Today’s decision rejected an additional appeal, and reconfirmed the previous ruling that compels Santander to return the funds and pay the fine.
Cryptocurrency exchanges have previously run into problems with banks closing their accounts, as some financial institutions find the cryptocurrency industry to be too unregulated and/or volatile to conduct business with firms in the space.