Cryptocurrency

Here’s a breakdown of crypto investing rules for employees at Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan, and Bank of America – News Nation USA


Employee personal account trading policies vary when it comes to cryptocurrencies.

  • Many banks have little oversight of crypto trading in employees’ personal accounts. 
  • Goldman Sachs has some restrictions for employees who work with crypto futures products. 
  • Here’s a look at personal trading policies for crypto at four top US banks. 

Wall Street firms generally have detailed policies around what employees are allowed to invest in personally to prevent insider trading and conflicts of interest. 

And while these policies vary by firm and division — traders, dealmakers, and others with client-facing relationships are subject to more restrictions than retail bankers, for instance — most securities traded via brokerage accounts require clearance from compliance. 

Even approved transactions can have holding periods of 30 days or longer, in part to keep workers from getting distracted by day trading.

But crypto is a different story. An Insider review of firms’ policies found that requirements for clearing and reporting trades vary. And platforms like Coinbase offer a venue to trade crypto outside of traditional brokerage accounts, where firms have a framework for monitoring transactions. 

Wall Streeters have been embracing personal crypto trading amid the relative lack of red tape. Banks meanwhile have been pushing into areas like bitcoin futures trading but are not yet meaningfully involved in spot crypto transactions. Compliance rules could change as they move further into the space. 

Firms generally keep their compliance rules for employee investments closely guarded, but older policies at a number of firms, including Bank of America and JPMorgan, are laid out in a Securities and Exchange Commission database and offer a sense of what’s involved, such as clearance periods, restrictions for particular asset classes, and processes for making trades.  

Insider confirmed the current personal trading policies for cryptocurrencies at several of the top US banks:

Bank of America

Bank of America has no requirements for staffers to clear or endure a holding period for their crypto trades, people familiar with the matter told Insider. 

Goldman Sachs

At Goldman Sachs, which this year relaunched a crypto-futures trading desk it had initially created in 2018, most employees can trade cryptocurrencies without restriction or preapproval, according to company spokesperson Maeve DuVally.

The exception: Employees who make markets in crypto-related products — such as bitcoin futures — are prohibited from trading crypto, and staff in the digital-assets group must clear trades. 

JPMorgan

Bank of America has no requirements for staffers to clear or endure a holding period for their crypto trades, people familiar with the matter told Insider. 

Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley doesn’t prohibit crypto trading, but it requires employees to report any outside brokerage account, according to a person familiar with the policy.

That means someone trading ether in an account with Robinhood, which offers brokerage services, would have to clear the account with the firm, but if they traded with a crypto wallet outside of a brokerage, they would have no such obligation. 

“It’s an evolving compliance space,” this person said, adding that the bank could require more disclosure as it becomes more involved in crypto.



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