It’s worth noting that the exact commencement date of this banking relationship remains undisclosed, but individuals with knowledge of the matter cited by Bloomberg have indicated that Tether has directed its clients to transfer funds to Britannia’s bank account over the past few months. Tether, known for its USDT token, has refrained from responding to inquiries for comments on this matter, as did Britannia Financial Group, the parent company of Britannia Bank & Trust.
Notably, Tether has not publicly divulged the comprehensive scope of its banking partnerships, resulting in speculation within the industry regarding its asset-safeguarding measures. Stablecoins, such as Tether’s USDT, are digital tokens typically pegged at a one-to-one ratio to assets like the US dollar, primarily facilitating the transfer of digital assets among cryptocurrency exchanges.
Bloomberg cited representatives from ChainArgos, a blockchain data analytics firm, who expressed their concerns over the lack of transparency surrounding Tether’s banking associations, asserting that it hinders the development of the cryptocurrency industry. Moreover, they highlighted that this opacity acts as a deterrent for regulatory approvals and discourages traditional asset managers with low tolerance for regulatory risk from engaging more actively in the cryptocurrency space.
Tether’s access to the financial system
Tether, operating as a privately held entity, has encountered difficulties in establishing and maintaining access to the traditional financial system. In 2017, Wells Fargo & Co. terminated its role as a correspondent bank for customers in the United States looking to transfer funds to Tether and Bitfinex’s banks in Taiwan. However, before the closure of New York-based Signature Bank in March, certain Tether clients were able to acquire stablecoins by transferring dollars to one of Tether’s banking partners, Capital Union Bank, through Signature Bank.
In 2021, Tether reached a settlement with the New York Attorney General following allegations of misrepresentation of reserves and concealment of losses. Bloomberg reports that, given increased scrutiny by US authorities on the cryptocurrency industry, securing banking partnerships within the United States has become a challenge for many cryptocurrency firms. In recent weeks, the Federal Reserve has announced heightened scrutiny of banks’ involvement in digital assets, including stablecoin activities, in light of the difficulties faced by several high-profile crypto firms.
More information about Britannia Financial Group
Britannia Financial Group, a London-based financial services firm, has been actively expanding its presence in recent years through acquisitions, including a specialised commodities brokerage. In April 2022, Britannia announced its acquisition of Alphaplate Ltd., a proprietary crypto trading firm, emphasising the growing significance of crypto assets for its clientele.