US Regulators Must Provide More Clarity on Crypto Rules, Says BNY Mellon CFO | Investment News

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. regulators must provide more clarity on the rules of the road for cryptocurrencies and other digital assets amid continued confusion over permitted activities, a senior banking official said on Tuesday.

“We hope for more clarity on digital assets,” Emily Portney, chief financial officer of Bank of New (BNY) York Mellon Corp, the country’s tenth-largest lender, told Reuters.

“Frankly, it’s a little confusing who actually regulates digital assets and in particular crypto…and of course exactly what you can or can’t do,” Portney said, speaking after the bank said. recorded a 17% increase in profits in the fourth quarter.

Portney’s comments underscore growing frustration among banking industry executives as US President Joe Biden’s regulators have taken a cautious approach to digital assets. With cryptocurrencies topping $3 trillion in November, banks are keen to enter the space, but many feel they can’t launch new products or expand existing offerings until the rules are clearer. .

BNY Mellon, which specializes in holding and managing assets on behalf of clients, announced in February that it was developing a digital asset custody and administration platform.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) said in November that banks must obtain written permission from their banking supervisors before engaging in cryptocurrency-related activities, including custodial services, reversal Trump administration policy that allowed banks to provide crypto custodial service.

The OCC and other regulators are engaged in a “policy sprint” to figure out where to provide regulatory clarity for banks on cryptocurrencies. This effort will likely inform new guidelines or rules, which could be released as early as this year.

“A lot of the activity is happening in what I would call shadow banking just because of the lack of clarity,” Portney said.

(Reporting by Michelle Price; Additional reporting by Hannah Lang; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.

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