The NatWest Group Plc is the latest British banking and insurance holding company to limit its customers’ involvement with cryptocurrencies. According to a statement released on Tuesday, account users can only move a maximum of £1,000 or $1,215 a day or £5,000 every 30 days into crypto exchanges.
Stuart Skinner, head of fraud prevention at NatWest, said the decision was to safeguard the UK bank users from “losing life-changing sums of money” to crypto exposure, especially fraud-related cases. In February, NatWest Group CEO Alison Rose told the House of Commons committee that the UK bank was taking a hard line on crypto, “looking at it from a fraud perspective.” She continued:
We blocked retail and wealth customers from transferring into crypto assets because of the platform’s volatility and stability. We know that can cause frustration for customers, but if we’re evidencing significant fraud, we block them.
Notably, NatWest has joined other industry competitors like Nationwide Building Society (NBS) and Lloyds Banking Group in limiting users’ crypto exposure. Early this month, NBS said it would no longer honor credit card payments to crypto exchanges.
Like NatWest Group, NBS decided the action following regulatory concerns over the risks of buying digital currencies and excessive crypto-related fraud.
Despite the multiple restrictions from UK banks, the UK capital city, London, was recently ranked number one among 50 cities with the infrastructure to experience mass crypto adoption based on eight data points. The metrics included the presence of crypto firms, crypto ATM counts, crypto ownership, crypto-specific events, and people working in crypto-related jobs.