Nordea, the largest Scandinavian bank, could be taken to court over its employee Bitcoin ban if it punishes workers for owning legal bitcoins.
Danish finance and workers’ rights figures have threatened legal action against major bank Nordea after it announced this week that it will ban its employees from owning Bitcoin by Feb. 28.
Speaking to local radio station Danmarks Radio (DK), Danish Financial Federation chairman Kent Petersen joined DJØF Union consultant Niels Mosegaard in condemning Nordea’s move, which came to light Monday.
Nordea is Scandinavia’s largest bank, meaning the legislation will cause 31,500 people to divest themselves of any Bitcoin holdings or exposure as soon as Feb. 28.
“We would consider it a legal offense against the individual,” Petersen told DK about the possibility of challenging the violation of employees’ rights in court. “After all, in Denmark there is still a degree of freedom to invest if it is not a risk for the company you are employed in.”
He added legal action would be considered if a member of either organization was fired as a result of owning Bitcoin after March 1. The majority of Nordea’s employees are members of either one of the two unions, according to The Next Web.
Nordea had defended its decision as prevention of employee participation of “criminal” or “unethical” participation in an “unregulated market.”
Director of media Stine Green Paulsen further agreed with a conclusion put to him by Finans.dk that they could technically “buy as many bitcoins as they liked” before the deadline, adding, however, that this was “not a recommendation.”
As a major Nordea operating area, Denmark has seen increasing hostility towards Bitcoin from regulatory circles recently.
Last month, Denmark’s Central Bank chief warned users to “stay away” from the cryptocurrency, going as far as to describe it as “deadly.”
At the same time, Bitcoin Suisse’s takeover of a major Danish sports team means the country now has a ‘Bitcoin Arena,’ while its players could become the first sports professionals to receive their salary in BTC.