British investment banking giant HSBC now prohibits its customers from buying shares of Michael Saylor’s business intelligence firm MicroStrategy (MSTR).
Twitter user Camiam shares a letter from HSBC InvestDirect (HIDC) informing him that the bank is changing its policy on virtual assets, including Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Hey @michael_saylor , you may want to ask your legal team if what @HSBC_CA is doing here is legal. It sure does not sound like it is! They wont allow us to buy @MicroStrategy . They maybe naked short… pic.twitter.com/GWSpt5t9eH
— Camiam⚡️☣️ (@Camadamus) April 8, 2021
The bank also says that it now classifies MicroStrategy’s stock as a virtual currency product, so it no longer allows clients to buy it on its trading platform.
“While we will permit the holdings of MSTR-US to be held and/or sold/transfer-out in your HSBC Invest Direct account, new purchases or transfers-in will not be allowed.”
MicroStrategy does not offer crypto services, but it buys and holds the flagship cryptocurrency as its treasury reserve asset. The company currently owns 91,326 BTC or about $5.45 billion based on Bitcoin’s price of $59,694 at time of writing.
“All of these companies may be on the chopping block because they hold BTC. This is the opposite of free market.’”
HSBC serves 40 million clients globally. It is listed on the London, Hong Kong, New York and Bermuda stock exchanges.