British bank NatWest launched measures this week to limit cryptocurrency exchange transfers, citing fears of “crypto-criminals” and online scams.
The London-based retail and commercial bank said in a press release it had begun capping transfers at £1,000 a day and £5,000 a month. The bank’s fraud protection chief, Stuart Skinner, added NatWest had monitored a rise in cryptocurrency-linked scams totalling £329 million in 2022.
He said at the time: “You should always have sole control of your cryptocurrency wallet and nobody else should have access. If you didn’t set the wallet up yourself or can’t access the money then this is likely to be a scam. We have seen an increase in the number of scams using cryptocurrency exchanges and we are acting to protect our customers.”
The news comes after the banking institution limited cryptocurrency transfers in 2021 based on assessments of crypto exchanges.
Some people on Twitter slammed the move as restrictive and having “nothing to do with scams.”
Nothing to do with scams.— Mike Cosgrove (@mikecosgrove) March 14, 2023
A bank has no right to limit how much a person can transfer.
Someone could ring NatWest saying;
“I want to transfer all of my money to Barclays Bank so i can buy crypto. You fu*kers don’t own my money”
NatWest can’t do NOTHING. https://t.co/zy0JApO65Y
Small and medium enterprise consultant Mike Cosgrove tweeted at the time: “Nothing to do with scams. A bank has no right to limit how much a person can transfer.”
He added that NatWest customers could transfer their money to rival banks to circumvent the restrictions.
It's interesting to see NatWest follow the lead of other UK banks by limiting crypto transactions. It's important to be aware of the risks associated with investing in volatile assets, and it's good to see banks taking steps to protect their customers. https://t.co/zbBQdk9GCV— Edgar S (@edgarenriquems) March 15, 2023
Conversely, career advisor Edgar Enriquems said it was “interesting” to see NatWest follow suit with other British banks.
“It’s important to be aware of the risks associated with investing in volatile assets, and it’s good to see banks taking steps to protect their customers,” he concluded.