A major high street bank in the U.K., Natwest, has blocked payments to crypto exchange Binance. Natwest’s decision came after two other major British banks — Barclays and Santander — made a similar move to block fund transfers to Binance. The banks acted in response to a warning on the cryptocurrency exchange by the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Natwest Blocking Fund Transfers to Binance
British bank Natwest (NWG.L) has reportedly become the latest financial institution in the U.K. to block payments to cryptocurrency exchange Binance. According to its 2020 annual report, Natwest Group is the largest business and commercial bank in the U.K., with 19 million customers across the U.K. and Ireland.
A Natwest spokesperson explained that the bank has seen a high level of cryptocurrency investment scams targeting customers across retail and business banking, particularly through social media websites.
“To protect our customers from the criminals exploiting these platforms, we’re temporarily reducing the maximum daily amount that a customer can send to cryptocurrency exchanges as well as blocking payments to a small number of cryptocurrency asset firms where we have seen particularly significant levels of fraud-related harm for our customers,” the spokesperson said, adding:
Our customers will still be able to accept cryptocurrencies as forms of payment.
The U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issued a warning about Binance on June 26 stating that the crypto exchange was not permitted to engage in regulated activities.
Following the FCA’s warning, Barclays stopped clients from sending funds to Binance. Santander Bank followed suit and blocked payments to the crypto exchange.
Binance has suspended GBP withdrawals and EUR deposits via SEPA bank transfers and service providers Faster Payments and Clear Junction have stopped processing payments for the crypto exchange. Meanwhile, Visa and Mastercard said they are monitoring Binance’s regulatory compliance and have not cut ties with the company.
Besides the FCA, a growing list of regulators have issued warnings against Binance, including regulators in Hong Kong, Lithuania, Italy, Thailand, Cayman Islands, and Japan.
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