Santander Will Block Users From Buying Crypto

Beginning in 2023, the bank will ban real-time transactions to crypto exchanges.

Santander Will Block Users From Buying Crypto
Shutterstock cover by Manuel Esteban

Key Takeaways

  • Santander will block real-time payments to cryptocurrency exchanges starting in 2023.
  • Yesterday, the bank announced limits on payments to exchanges that will take effect on November 15.
  • Customers are still permitted to make withdrawals from, and receive funds sent by, crypto exchanges.

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The U.K. bank Santander will prevent its customers from sending transactions to crypto exchanges next year.

Santander to Block Exchange Payments

Santander will soon restrict users from buying crypto.

Reuters reported today that Santander has sent out an email statement to customers. In that statement, the bank says it will introduce a block on real-time transactions to cryptocurrency exchanges next year.

“We intend to further protect customers by blocking all faster payments we identify to cryptocurrency exchanges from Santander accounts,” Santander said, adding that the policy will be “implemented during the course of 2023.”

The U.K.’s Faster Payments Service is widely by banks and their customers. It is unclear whether Santander will provide alternate means by which customers can send funds to crypto exchanges, but the company’s announcement does not suggest any explicit plans to do so.

The bank says that protecting customers from crypto scams is its reason for blocking transactions to exchanges.

On Thursday, Santander said that it would limit transactions to crypto exchanges beginning on November 15. The bank will allow customers to send no more than £1,000 per transaction and £3,000 per rolling 30-day period.

That new policy only applies to deposits, not withdrawals. “You can still get payments from cryptocurrency exchanges into your account,” Santander says.

In yesterday’s announcement, the bank indicated that it would make “more changes to limit or prevent payments to crypto exchanges in the future.” As such, the restrictions announced today are not entirely unexpected.

Santander also blocked payments to the major crypto exchange Binance in 2021 in response to a warning from the Financial Conduct Authority. Santander said that it will continue to block transactions to Binance.

Santander is one of the U.K.’s largest banks. According to Statista, it had €287 billion ($286 billion) of assets in 2021, making it the sixth largest bank in the country.

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned BTC, ETH, and other digital assets.

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