Australia’s CBA rebuffs reports of partnership with crypto trading platform

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FILE PHOTO: Pedestrians are reflected in a Commonwealth Bank logo sign outside a branch located in Sydney, Australia

(Reuters) – Commonwealth Bank of Australia warned of a fake news article doing rounds on social media platforms alleging the country’s No. 1 lender to have partnered with a cryptocurrency trading platform to encourage people to invest in crypto assets.

CBA branded the article to be “totally false and untrue” on Tuesday, adding that it had reported it to the relevant authorities and asked social media publishers, including Facebook, to take down the article.

The report comes months after Australia’s richest man and chairman of Fortescue Metals Group, Andrew Forest, filed a lawsuit against Facebook-owner Meta Platforms alleging it breached anti-money laundering laws and used his image to promote cryptocurrency schemes.

Last month, Australia’s competition watchdog had also filed a similar lawsuit against Meta with allegations of promoting fake cryptocurrency ads featuring well-known people.

CBA added that it has warned Australians through its own channels not to respond to or click through to the website if they receive the alleged fake article.

It also alleged that the article was “designed to entice unsuspecting people to go to the scammer’s website and provide their personal details and money.”

Last year, CBA became Australia’s first main-street bank to offer a platform for retail customers to trade in cryptocurrencies.

(Reporting by Indranil Sarkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)