Metropolitan Bank says it closed Tether’s account after 5 months

The Metropolitan Commercial Bank had accounts for stablecoin issuer Tether and affiliates for less than half a year before closing it, a spokesman told CoinDesk.

The New York Attorney General’s (NYAG) office, which is embroiled in a lawsuit with Tether and its sister company, Bitfinex crypto exchange, filed new records on Monday showing that Tether had accounts with Metropolitan Bank and Signature Bank, two crypto-friendly, state-based banks held.

These documents were presented as evidence of NYAG’s reasoning that it had legal authority to investigate the companies because they had New York customers.

Metropolitan relations with Tether; Bitfinex’s parent company iFinex; and Digfinex (the majority owner of Tether and iFinex) appear to have held up short.

A spokesman for the bank told CoinDesk on Wednesday that there had been minimal activity with the three accounts and said in an email:

“Metropolitan Commercial Bank had limited operating accounts at Tether Holdings LTD, iFinex Inc and Digfinex Inc, all with negligible activity, and requested to close the accounts less than 5 months after the accounts were opened.”

The spokesman made it clear that the bank itself had requested the accounts to be closed, not Tether, iFinex or Digfinex.

A Signature Bank spokesman did not want to discuss the matter and told CoinDesk that “we do not comment on any customer-related matters”.

A spokesman for the exchange did not immediately return a request for comment.

NYAG is investigating Bitfinex’s alleged cover-up of a $ 850 million loss by potentially borrowing up to $ 900 million from Tether’s reserves. The reserve is theoretically in place to cover the USDT stablecoin, which Tether previously claimed was backed 1 to 1 by the US dollar.

Bitfinex, Tether, and their affiliates have until July 22nd to submit a response to NYAG’s latest motion. The case itself will be retried in court a week later, with a hearing scheduled for July 29th.

Image via Metropolitan Commercial Bank

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