Two UK banks have frozen and closed the bank accounts of Imperium Comms, a PR agency which specialises in the crypto and blockchain space.
In a letter sent to the crypto PR agency’s founder in mid-August, Metro Bank said it would be closing the bank account in 60 days and wouldn’t be reviewing its decision.
They also said they are unable to provide any explanation as to why they decided to close the account.
Around the same time, HSBC froze the bank account of the company’s founder and managing consultant.
In an interview, Suliman Mulhem, the founder of Imperium Comms, said both letters came as a surprise – and he believes the banks decided to close/freeze his accounts due to his company’s involvement in the cryptocurrency industry.
He noted that the closures came off the back of a few very strong months for his PR agency, which resulted in him transferring over $90,000 to his bank accounts from crypto exchanges (as the majority of his company’s clients pay him in crypto.)
And he believes these large transfers are responsible for the predicament he now finds himself in.
Speaking to Crypto Daily on Thursday, a bank fraud consultant said it is “almost certain” that the banks decided to close the accounts due to Mulhem moving so much money from crypto exchanges into his bank account in such a short period of time.
“Banks are very vigilant about large inbound transfers coming from crypto exchanges, as these platforms are often used for money laundering or bank fraud,” he said.
“While their decision seems harsh, you have to keep in mind that it looks very suspicious and extraordinary for a 22-year-old to make close to $100,000 in the space of three months.
“Only professional footballers make that sort of money at that age, so it’s not surprising that these transactions raised alarm bells at the banks,” he added.
Mulhem has filed a complaint with the Financial Ombudsman against both Metro Bank and HSBC.
For the time being, he plans to open a foreign currency account with the Commercial Bank of Dubai, as he is currently based in the UAE.
The bank closures haven’t impacted his business’ operations, and Imperium Comms is continuing to service both crypto and non-crypto clients.
Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.