Is CIMB Bank Crypto Friendly? Crypto Traders Accounts Reportedly Being Closed

CIMB Bank faces community backlash for allegedly shutting down accounts engaged in cryptocurrency activities, sparking concerns over mass blocking, lack of transparency, and slow resolution processes.

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Additional information by Michael Mislos

In a recent BitPinas Ask Facebook post regarding digital banks, some community members mentioned that CIMB Bank, a digital commercial lender, has been shutting down and restricting accounts of individuals engaged in cryptocurrency, specifically peer-to-peer (P2P) activities.

  • Numerous individuals on social media have shared experiences of their accounts being either abruptly closed or, conversely, remaining active and usable for cryptocurrency trading.
  • The individuals claimed they are only doing crypto trading.
  • However, another set of shared experiences on social media reveal the possibility of the accounts being closed might be tied to money laundering.
  • In this article, BitPinas looked at reports of users who had their accounts closed, as well as users who had their accounts still open despite doing crypto transactions.

BitPinas has sought CIMB’s comments about the issue multiple times but has not received any response. 

Check out: Six ‘Crypto-Friendly’ Banks and Financial Institutions in the Philippines and List of Digital Banks With High Interest Rates in the Philippines

Community Complains

In BitPinas follower’s comment thread on the post last March 3, the concern about CIMB mass blocking has been raised. 

Mass Blocking of Accounts

“They have been mass-blocking accounts in the past 2 days. They al(s)o been hiding comments on their FB page. They are not replying to support tickets and close to zero customer support. 7 digits stuck on my account,” they wrote.

Another community member replied noting that although the bank will eventually return a user’s funds from a restricted account, the process can take months. They stated that CIMB is “not transparent”, mentioning their frustration with their communication channels.

“I’m calling them, email and replying from ticket everyday. I received same response everyday. “Under investigation” then they don’t want to provide any information. you need to update the ticket time to time and email too. I think the one who resolved my concern is from email support but it takes few days from them to reply,” he shared.

Reports of Users That Had Their Funds Frozen

In a Reddit post last February 26, a CIMB depositor revealed that their ₱56,000 deposit with CIMB remains pending even after 3 months of investigation. 

The depositor added that the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) was also unable to address the issue. According to them, CIMB froze their account on December 3, 2023, citing suspicious transactions, notably involving cryptocurrency. 

In another Reddit post published on March 12, another CIMB user who had been using a CIMB Fastplus Account for savings shared their experience of financial distress after a series of events.

According to them, initially, everything was smooth, including the extension of their Revi Credit account with a credit line of ₱100,000. However, when the depositor attempted to receive funds via peer-to-peer (P2P) transfer in Binance, CIMB flagged the transaction as suspicious and froze ₱60,000 worth of funds in December 2023. Consequently, this left the depositor unable to pay bills and Revi Credit dues. Late fees and interest charges accrued, leading to further financial strain. Despite CIMB deducting the frozen ₱60,000 to cover a portion of the Revi Credit dues, a balance of 20k remained, exacerbating the depositor’s predicament.

When commentators suggested that the user ought to have promptly submitted the necessary documents to resolve the matter once their account was flagged, the user responded by asserting that they indeed did so and even involve the central bank. However, CIMB persisted in stating that they were still conducting an investigation.

Photo for the Article - Is CIMB Bank Crypto Friendly? Crypto Traders Accounts Reportedly Being Closed

P2P Transactions

In addition, concerns emerged regarding CIMB Bank’s actions regarding accounts associated with peer-to-peer (P2P) crypto transactions, particularly in December. The CIMB user noted that numerous accounts had been blocked by the bank. They highlighted the inconvenience caused when funds received from someone under investigation led to further accounts being affected, resulting in significant disruption.

Responding to these observations, BitPinas sought clarification on whether this information had been formally published or shared elsewhere. The user clarified that the insights were not from official sources but were collated from merchants and customers involved in P2P transactions. 

They explained that CIMB typically sends emails to account holders to explain transactions, regardless of their size. The user emphasized that CIMB’s actions were not selective based on transaction magnitude; rather, any account linked to a sender under investigation would face potential account restrictions.

Photo for the Article - Is CIMB Bank Crypto Friendly? Crypto Traders Accounts Reportedly Being Closed

Moreover, in response to questions posed by BitPinas, the user clarified that CIMB Bank does not disclose the specific reason for investigating an account. They highlighted the lack of transparency, mentioning that CIMB had closed his account without providing any explanation.  [Editor’s note: non-disclosure of the reason why an account is blocked appears to be a standard in financial institutions.]

Regarding the connection to cryptocurrency, they clarified that while he did not explicitly state that the investigations were crypto-related, he noted “most of merchants and seller/buyer from P2P are affected.”

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Reports of Users That Can Still Use Their Accounts

On the other hand, one of the commenters on one of the abovementioned posts also shared their experience with CIMB. 

“Last week, I sold USDT via [P2P] on a crypto exchange platform directly sending payment to my CIMB and I did not encounter any issues. Mind you that it was the same encounter on the previous deposit I got via p2p just last December amounting to 100k. No issues at all nor any alerts from CIMB,” they shared.

The commenter then shared that they are a crypto exchange employee and highlighted that banks typically freeze funds only if law enforcement reports fraudulent activity, extending beyond local authorities. They noted that this aligns with the vague explanation from BSP and CIMB’s limited disclosure.

“Anyway, I specifically called CIMB in regards with their stance on crypto money and CS told me before that as long as the deposit limits are followed, transactions won’t be flagged like this guy’s story. I’m leaning on the reason that there was indeed a report and valid proof has been shared by law enforcement to CIMB causing the long freeze and extension recently. Since CIMB also mentioned the funds will be locked “indefinitely” it definitely convinced me that my theory is more likely what has happened. Only a police order can request an indefinite freeze order on a person’s bank account be it crypto or traditional banks,” they added.

Another commenter also shared that they have extensive involvement in cryptocurrency since 2021 and they are utilizing GCash to CIMB for P2P transactions. According to them, they had not encountered deposit holds previously.

Photo for the Article - Is CIMB Bank Crypto Friendly? Crypto Traders Accounts Reportedly Being Closed

What about transfers to and from licensed exchanges in the Philippines?

Licensed crypto exchanges in the Philippines operate as regulated financial institutions under the supervision of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilinas (BSP).

Transactions to and from local banks should generally push through, barring any maintenance-related disruptions either from the banks themselves, the crypto exchanges, or the payment infrastructure systems such as Instapay/PESONet, which facilitate interbank transfers within the Philippines.

Recently there are reports, however, of transfers not pushing through due to issues in the payment rails – Instapay and Pesonet.

Iwas AMLA: An Interview with Nichel Gaba

During a prior BitPinas Webcast featuring Nichel Gaba, CEO of PDAX, he noted that if users lodge complaints to the regarding a bank, the matter will be forwarded to a separate department within the bank, where they will be obligated to provide a response.

Are these situations happening before?

In 2021, following reports from a UnionBank customer on Reddit regarding account restrictions related to cryptocurrency transactions, Arvie de Vera, former CEO of UnionDigital and Senior Vice President & Head of Fintech Business Group at UnionBank, assured the public that UnionBank is still a “crypto-friendly” bank in an interview with BitPinas. He addressed concerns about account suspensions or closures, emphasizing UnionBank’s commitment to remaining open to crypto traders. 

UnionBank's UnionDigital Plans to Serve the Play-to-Earn Community, to Partner with YGG | Webcast 07

De Vera explained the bank’s compliance with regulatory requirements, such as enhanced “know-your-customer” protocols and anti-money laundering procedures. He acknowledged that some accounts had been temporarily suspended due to suspicious transactions but highlighted UnionBank’s willingness to restore accounts upon receipt of necessary documentation. 

This article is published on BitPinas: Investigate: Is CIMB closing accounts of crypto traders?


  • Before investing in any cryptocurrency, it is essential that you carry out your own due diligence and seek appropriate professional advice about your specific position before making any financial decisions.
  • BitPinas provides content for informational purposes only and does not constitute investment advice. Your actions are solely your own responsibility. This website is not responsible for any losses you may incur, nor will it claim attribution for your gains. 

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