As per recent reports, an unnamed investor has filed for a lawsuit of approximately 22.5 million USD, against Hapoalim, an Israeli bank, for its refusal to accept deposits of profits earned from Bitcoin (BTC). This complaint is against the bank is being considered
The complaint against the bank is being filed as a class-action suit, and the investor has also mentioned that he has plans to sue other banks in Israel for the same reason.
Israeli banks are supposedly anti-crypto as they try to avoid investigations which will be brought on due to their association with crypto-related companies and individuals.
Lior Lahav, who is the complainant’s lawyer, however, claimed that the above-mentioned reason is not a good enough ground for the banks to refuse services to those involved in trading of digital currencies. He said:
“The banks have an obligation under the law to accept money from the clients […] They can check on their clients, do their due diligence, and find out where the money is coming from. The problem with the banks is that they are doing nothing. They are not asking their clients: ‘Provide me documentation of the origin of the money.’”
Also, Lahav elaborated on the scale of the issue and said that there were tens of thousands of Israeli investors who are also suffering from the same plight even though they have not committed any apparent wrongdoing. He added that:
“There are more than 70,000 bitcoin investors in Israel who are facing the same problem from their banks […] 99 per cent of them are ordinary people that invested in a thing that’s completely legal.”
Moreover, Lahav made it clear that his client was not Ross Gross, a Bitcoin investor who had claimed that Hapoalim did not accept his deposit as he had got it from crypto trading profits.
Gross started investing in Bitcoin in 2011 and duly reported his earnings to the Israeli tax authority. However, in 2017, Bank Hapoalim refused to continue accepting his deposits of funds earned from Bitcoin trading, and as a result of this, he has not been able to pay his capital gains taxes. The tax authority has therefore placed a lien on his bank account, scooters, and home.