British investment banking giant, HSBC (LON: HSBA) has barred the customers of its online trading platform, HSBC InvestDirect (HIDC), from purchasing the shares of the business intelligence company, MicroStrategy, which is trading under the ticker MSTR.
According to a snapshot making rounds on Twitter, the banking giant is sending a message to its customers, who hold shares of MicroStrategy, informing them that the bank will not permit the further purchase of the shares. However, the bank customers can hold or sell their existing MicroStrategy stocks.
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…then they fight you. HSBC is not only banning the purchase of #Bitcoin but also new purchases of MicroStrategy $MSTR. pic.twitter.com/Yt6c2xbXad
— Cameron Winklevoss (@cameron) April 9, 2021
A Virtual Currency Product
The step has been taken in accordance with the bank’s new policy on virtual currencies and products.
“HIDC will not participate in facilitating (buy and/or exchange) product relating to virtual currencies, or products related to or referencing to the performance of virtual currency,” the message stated.
The bank is looking at MicroStrategy shares as a virtual currency product.
Michael Saylor-led MicroStrategy is the first publicly-listed corporation to directly invest in Bitcoin. The company first made its Bitcoin purchase in August 2020, and after many consecutive investments, it now holds a total of around 91,579 Bitcoins worth billions of dollars.
The company made its latest Bitcoin purchase earlier this week for around $15 million, Finance Magnates reported.
Though many mainstream banks are now adopting Bitcoins, HSBC’s stance towards virtual currency remains negative. The banking giant earlier banned its customers from transferring profits from Bitcoin trades to their HSBC account.
Interestingly, HIDC still lists shares of other companies like Tesla, Hut 8 Mining and Square, which have significant Bitcoin holdings.