The common belief that one’s private and professional life are two separate things was challenged by the Nordea Bank that sought to bar its employees from purchasing and trading cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. The case eventually landed in front of a judge and the Danish court ruled that the Nordea Bank is indeed allowed to enforce the restriction.
Denmark’s financial industry employee’s union challenged Nordea’s ban announcement on the grounds that the bank is unnecessarily interfering with its employee’s private lives. The union’s chairman Kent Petersen stated:
“We filed suit because of the principle that everyone obviously has a private life and the right to act as a private individual. It was important for us and our members to establish what rights managers have. In this case, it was more far-reaching than what we find to be appropriate.”
Nordea had already announced the ban in January 2018. The bank is the largest Scandinavian banking institute which is why this restriction affects over 31.000 people who will not be able to participate in the cryptocurrency market anymore. The court said that the inherent risks associated with digital currencies are a valid reason for the ban but at the same time excluded digital currencies sold by Nordea from it.
While the ban is not applied in retrospective and employees who bought cryptocurrencies before can continue to hold onto them, it still effectively bars them from participating in the market. After all, the only thing they are allowed to do with their cryptocurrency now, is to sell it for FIAT to cash out.
For the employee union this is obviously a large loss of personal financial freedom but the court sided with Nordea on this topic.
What do you think? Is the cryptocurrency ban for bank employees a good idea? Does it actually protect the employees or rather the bank?