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Barclays Doesn’t Have Plans to Launch Its Own Crypto Trading Desk

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by Julia Sakovich · 3 min read
Barclays Doesn’t Have Plans to Launch Its Own Crypto Trading Desk
Photo: Michael Leuty / Flickr

Despite all the rumors, the U.K. banking giant Barclays is not planning to launch its own cryptocurrency trading desk in the nearest future.

As it has been announced, Jes Staley, chief executive of British multi-national investment bank Barclays, has refused all the rumors regarding opening a cryptocurrency trading desk and launching bank’s own cryptocurrency.  At the moment, the UK bank does not have any immediate plans to make these steps. This announcement was made at the bank’s annual general meeting.

Answering one of the questions about the bank’s attitude to cryptocurrencies, Mr.Stanley confirmed that their team really had been studying the possible impact that cryptocurrencies could make on the financial and banking sectors. Nevertheless, they still have some doubts about compliance and regulatory issues of these new technologies.

He told the journalists: “Cryptocurrency is a real challenge for us because, on the one hand, there is the innovative side of it and wanting to stay in the forefront of technology’s improvement in finance… On the other side of it, there is the possibility of cryptocurrencies being used for activities that the bank wants to have no part of”.

Some weeks ago, it was said by a Barclays spokesman that the bank is constantly conducting monitoring of innovations and developments in the cryptocurrency environment and is continuously studying its clients’ needs, interests and intentions in this sector.  As a result, this activity was viewed as a preliminary assessment of the situation for entering the crypto community.

There appeared some rumors regarding the bank’s move into the cryptocurrency space via launch of their own trading desk that will help Barclays clients to buy and sell digital assets. Some information sources even said that Barclays plans for developing new directions also involved establishing collaboration with another major financial institution Goldman Sachs that is currently examining the crypto space and has even hired a crypto trader as vice president of digital asset markets with a view to satisfy their clients’ interests.

Previously, Barclays team associated the spread of cryptocurrency with an infectious disease that is spreading too quickly, saying that this disease should be treated.

Nevertheless, debates and rumors around cryptocurrencies and trading desk were not the only issues for discussion during Barclays’ annual meeting. There were also some talks about the plans of the bank’s chairman John McFarlane to quit his position despite the fact that he had served only three years of his four-year term.

Though he confirmed that he had asked his employees to prepare for his eventual departure, Mr. McFarlane also added that his company “is not getting rid of him yet”.

Moreover, some time ago it was believed that Jes Staley could lose his position due to some unpleasant situation with a letter raising “concerns of a personal nature”. Nevertheless, the majority of stakeholders have supported Stanley and it has been decided that he will remain as the bank’s chief executive.

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