Metropolitan Bank discloses relationship with cryptocurrency exchange

Metropolitan Bank said in its quarterly regulatory filing yesterday morning, “In response to the recent articles published in certain investor websites regarding the impact of cryptocurrencies on our financial statements, we are providing further details regarding our involvement in this area. Metropolitan Commercial Bank maintains a diversified approach to generating deposits through a number of verticals including borrowing relationships, retail relationships and debit card issuing relationships. As a part of this strategy, we also have a relationship with a cryptocurrency exchange. This customer maintains two different types of accounts with us. One account is for its general corporate purposes and the other account is for settlement activities for the benefit of its customers. The funds deposited by this customer consist of U.S. dollars, not cryptocurrency. During the three months ended September 30, 2017, this customer maintained an average balance of $108 million in its corporate non-interest bearing account with us. We use these funds in the normal course of business and realize a net interest margin on them. During the three months ended September 30, 2017, the customer maintained an average balance of approximately $137 million in its non-interest bearing settlement account with us. We do not use funds in the settlement account for our general funding purposes. These balances are transactional in nature and are kept in the overnight funds with the Federal Reserve Bank. Income realization on these funds is limited to the overnight Fed Funds rate. As of September 30, 2017, Metropolitan Commercial Bank had total deposits of $1.5 billion. Deposit balances related to the cryptocurrency corporate account represents roughly 7% of our total deposit base while that of the settlement account represents 9% of our total deposit base. Since the settlement account is not used for funding purposes, it does not constitute a material source of income or, we believe, liquidity risk for Metropolitan Commercial Bank. In addition, in the normal course of its business, we provide cash management solutions to our customers including wire transfers, ACH and foreign exchange conversion which are also offered to the cryptocurrency exchange customer. These solutions are provided at the normal fee that is charged to all other customers. An increase in transactions results in an increase in our non-interest income.”

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