Entrepreneur Sturle Sunde in the sole proprietorship Sunde bitmynthandel, formerly the crypto currency company Bitmynt AS, has received a business account after almost six years of struggle.
In a press release on Sunday, Sunde states that Sparebanken Sogn og Fjordane, in dialogue with Finanstilsynet, offers him a business account.
– Having obtained a statement from Finanstilsynet, we have made a new assessment of the case, and we will offer you the opening of a business account for your business activity, says Sparebanken Sogn and Fjordane in a letter.
– Now I’m on the starting line. I have applied for a place in the incubator of Aksello here in Florø, and expect to create more new jobs in the city, says Sunde in a comment.
– Someone had to give up eventually, and I too stubborn, says Sunde.
Sunde, who has been one of Norway’s largest bitcoin exchangers, applied for an account with Sparebanken Sogn og Fjordane in 2013. First, the bank was positive, but turned very abruptly after a few days, referring to the general risk of money laundering. Since then, he has been refused many places, but without an individual assessment, and in March he finally sued Sparebanken Sogn og Fjordane, who now turned after the dialogue with the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority.
In May last year, Sunde lost a lawsuit against Nordea after the bank refused his company to create an account there. Nordea, like several other banks, denies companies that want to run bitcoin and so-called block chains to have customer relationships with them, and then Sunde could not register the company in the Brønnøysund Register Center and create a limited company.
– Bitcoin exchange to the extent that Sturle Sunde’s account has been used, entails a risk that the account may be used for transactions that are related to money laundering, terror financing or other criminal activities, Nordea stated.
Oslo District Court upheld the bank, but Sunde did not give up. In addition to appealing the case against Nordea, he continued to go for accounts with other banks.
Sunde’s case against Nordea is still in progress, and he feels that the chances are considerably improved now that Finanstilsynet has stated. The Ministry of Finance must also have made it clear that the general risk of money laundering is not a valid reason for refusing a bank account.
“The case against Nordea has been strengthened after Finanstilsynet came on the ground and made it clear that banks can not only reject customers because of general risk, but must make an individual assessment,” says lawyer Amund Noss, who leads the case for Sunde.
Now that Sunde has got her business account somewhere else, it is no longer so important to win the case against Nordea.