UniCredit has been slapped with a $144 million fine for “wrongfully” closing crypto miner accounts. Italy’s second-largest bank is appealing against this, arguing that it was a “wrongful closure”. Bitminer Factory, which describes itself as the first and largest mining farm in Italy, highlighted that the account closures had affected its ICO for a startup project.
The Italian bank pointed out that it does not enter into partnerships with digital currency suppliers and exchange platforms. However, the court said that UniCredit did not show any written rules that prevented it from interacting with clients in the cryptocurrency space.
UniCredit started rejecting requests by Bitminer Factory to withdraw the minted cryptocurrency. The bank defended its decision saying that it was not being able to do business with digital currency suppliers and exchange platforms. UniCredit, in its appeal against the fine, said it is not definitive, enforceable, or binding. It stated that its possible liability will be determined only by the definitive outcome of all available procedural remedies.
Moreover, UniCredit has found itself caught in the geopolitical storm between Russia and Ukraine. The Italian bank stated that it would “fully write off” its Russian businesses, including cross-border exposure. This would cost UniCredit a whopping $8.1 billion. The bank is committed to buying back its own shares.
Furthermore, the European Commission has fined investment banks, such as Nomura, Bank of America, UniCredit, UBS, etc. for breaking EU antitrust rules. These banks are collectively facing a fine of $407 million for participating in a European Governments Bonds trading cartel.