Nordea Bank can legally prevent its employees from trading bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies following a ruling by the Danish courts. 

According to a verdict, Nordea is free to prevent employees from investing in bitcoin due to the risks associated with cryptocurrency.

Denmark’s union for financial industry employees had originally filed a suit against the bank, following a memo circulated in January 2018 warning employees that “the risks were too high” to trade in crypto. Nordea justified its ban by saying that the crypto markets were unregulated and linked to criminal activity, including money laundering. Nordea claimed that employees could damage the reputation of the bank and its clients by investing in bitcoin, even in their own time. 

Kent Petersen, the union’s chairman, said of the bank’s decision, 

We filed suit because of the principle that everyone obviously has a private life and the right to act as a private individual.

He continued, 

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.

Despite the union’s efforts, Danish courts upheld Nordea’s restriction of employees trading crypto in their free time. The ruling does not apply to crypto-assets that were acquired prior to the ban. 

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