ING says cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex has an account with it

FILE PHOTO: The logo of ING bank is pictured at the entrance of the group's main office in Brussels, Belgium September 5, 2017. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir/File Photo

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Dutch financial services company ING INGA.AS on Tuesday confirmed that Bitfinex, one of the largest exchanges for trading in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, has a bank account with it in the Netherlands.

Bitfinex’s banking arrangements have been unclear since Wells Fargo severed ties with it last April. In January, Reuters reported that the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) had sent a subpoena on Dec. 6 to both Bitfinex and sister company Tether for undisclosed reasons.

Bitfinex, whose parent company iFinex is incorporated in the British Virgin Isles and which has offices in Taiwan, could not be reached for comment.

ING spokesman Harold Reusken confirmed in an email that Bitfinex has an account in the Netherlands but would not provide details on the amount held or whether ING also provides banking services for other Bitfinex-related companies.

“With regards to companies that are active in the crypto market, we are very conservative,” Reusken said. He said ING does not itself provide any services to help customers buy or sell cryptocurrencies.

But he said the bank, which is actively experimenting with distributed ledger technology, is willing to serve “companies that are in the value chain of cryptocurrencies.”

Two members of parliament in the Netherlands have lodged questions for the finance minister after Dutch-language website “Follow The Money” published a report on Feb. 14 disclosing ING’s banking relationship with Bitfinex.

Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Hugh Lawson