NatWest Limits Transactions to Crypto Exchanges

NatWest says it's hoping to protect customers from crypto scams and frauds.

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Key Takeaways

  • NatWest has placed a daily cap on transactions retail customers can make to cryptocurrency exchanges in the U.K.
  • A NatWest spokesperson told Reuters that they had witnessed alarming levels of scams involving cryptocurrencies.
  • The maximum fund limit that can be transacted each day varies depending on each exchange, NatWest said.

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Natwest, one of the U.K.’s largest commercial banks, has placed limitations on how much money customers can transfer to cryptocurrency exchanges per day.

NatWest Limits Transfers to Crypto Exchanges

NatWest has placed a daily cap on transactions made by its retail customers on cryptocurrency exchanges. The decision was made after the bank due to a rise in scams and frauds involving cryptocurrency, Reuters reported Tuesday.

A NatWest spokesperson told the outlet that they had witnessed alarming levels of scams involving cryptocurrency that are targeted towards retail customers.

The maximum fund limit that can be transacted each day varies depending on a particular exchange, and is “typically in the thousands of pounds.”

According to a NatWest Twitter post, the bank also restricts cryptocurrency transactions with certain merchants found to be connected with scams.

Previously in the month of May, NatWest issued a warning about various scams executed through popular cryptocurrencies. Such incidents have grown by 1,000% since Oct. 2020 amid volatility in the prices of crypto assets.

On its website, the bank describes the various methods that may be used to trick customers into sending assets like Bitcoin or Ethereum that can be purchased on various exchanges.

The restrictions imposed by NatWest come at a time when U.K.’s financial watchdog Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is tightening its grip on unregulated cryptocurrency trading platforms. Just a few days ago, the U.K. regulator banned Binance Markets Limited from operating in the country. The ban was announced after Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, withdrew its application to legally register in the country.

NatWest isn’t the only U.K. bank that’s taken a negative stance against cryptocurrencies. In May, HSBC’s CEO Neill Quinn said that the bank was “not into Bitcoin as an asset class.” The representative cited the price volatility as a factor behind the bank’s aversions.

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