Popular UK-based financial institution National Westminster Bank (NatWest) has restricted the funds its customers can spend on crypto purchases to reduce their exposure to the volatile asset class.
According to a Bloomberg report, NatWest account holders now have a transfer limit of £1,000 ($1,215) per day or £5,000 ($6,090) every 30 days into crypto exchanges.
NatWest Restricts Customers’ Crypto Activity
NatWest, the UK’s third-largest bank by market capitalization, said the decision would prevent its customers from “losing life-changing sums of money” on crypto investments and scams.
The bank disclosed that fraudsters are using false promises of high returns to entice investors, preying on their lack of understanding of crypto and its volatility to lure them into transferring money to crypto exchanges.
Stuart Skinner, NatWest’s head of fraud protection, noted that the increase in the number of scams running through crypto exchanges forced the bank to implement the limits as the company is striving to protect its customers.
“Criminals play on a lack of understanding of how cryptocurrency markets work and their unpredictability, to encourage investors to transfer money to exchanges, which are often set up in the customer’s own name by the criminal or by the victim, under duress from the criminal,” NatWest said in a statement.
Meanwhile, this is not the first time the bank has imposed such restrictions on its users. In June 2021, NatWest temporarily limited the amount customers could send to crypto exchanges due to the rapid increase of investment scams and fraud.
At the time, NatWest also blocked transfers to several crypto firms that showed signs of fraud-related harm to its users.
UK Banks Imposing Limits on Crypto Spending
It is worth noting that NatWest is not the only UK bank that has recently imposed restrictions on customers. CryptoPotato reported earlier this month that several major banks had banned or imposed higher crypto spending limits on users’ accounts.
HSBC recently banned users from purchasing cryptocurrencies using their credit cards, citing possible risks, while Nationwide bank imposed a daily limit of £5,000 ($6,090) on all digital asset debit-card purchases.