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NatWest Joins Peers in Blocking Payments to Binance


cryptoknowmics.com 23 July 2021 01:30, UTC
Reading time: ~3 m

NatWest, a leading bank in the United Kingdom, has blocked all customer payments to crypto exchange Binance. The institution informed its clients that the decision was made due to the ongoing regulatory uncertainty surrounding the firm. NatWest is the latest to join a growing list of banking institutions that have banned payments to the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. Barclays and Santander have announced similar prohibitions recently.

NatWest Blocks All Credit and Debit card Payments to Binance

On Thursday, a representative for NatWest said, All credit and debit card transactions to Binance have been blocked. We have been limiting payments to Binance for a number of weeks.”

The spokesperson highlighted that the bank has seen an uptick in crypto-related scams aimed at its customers in both business and retail segments, and social media has played a crucial role in their spread. The bank is also uncertain about the existing regulatory environment and UK’s stance on Binance, which provided further motivation for implementing the latest ban.

“We’re temporarily reducing the maximum daily amount that a customer can send to cryptocurrency exchanges as well as blocking payments to a small number of cryptocurrency asset firms where we have seen particularly significant levels of fraud. Our customers will still be able to accept cryptocurrencies as forms of payment,” the representative added.

For the time being, the institution has not imposed a blanket ban on all crypto payments. Its restrictions only apply to businesses and exchanges with the “highest risk of financial harm.”

NatWest’s Latest Crypto Restrictions Leave Customers Frustrated

NatWest’s latest restrictions have angered many people in the crypto community who are unhappy with the bank telling them how to invest their money.

I welcome advice on how I spend & invest my money here in the UK, but do not force obstruction. This is so far from the solution to the problems you are claiming it solves within @binance & cryptocurrency scams @NatWest_Help. pic.twitter.com/cKKwM2UQKY

— FEGMike 🇬🇧 (@FegMike) July 22, 2021

Some long-time customers are even contemplating shifting their business to other crypto-friendly institutions in a sign of protest. One NatWest Customer reportedly said, “I will be removing my long-term custom, and I encourage others to do the same. I have not authorized them to make financial decisions on my behalf.“ 

The institution has slowly ramped up its restrictions on crypto businesses over the last few months. In June, NatWest introduced a daily limit on crypto purchases for its customers targeted at various exchanges including Binance. It also denied support to firms that accepted payments in cryptocurrencies.

Its aversion to digital assets and associated products, however, is not limited to Binance. The bank’s risk committee had already indicated a “cautious approach” to the emergent asset class in April. Morten Friis, the head of the risk committee, stated:

“We think of cryptocurrencies as high risk and we’re taking, for that reason, a cautious approach to this. It’s an area where regulation is very much in evolution and we’ll obviously respond to that as things change.”

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