One of the UK’s leading commercial banks, NatWest, has introduced new restrictions on users transacting with cryptocurrency exchanges, in the latest clampdown to affect digital currency users in the country.
The move comes against a backdrop of tightening regulation for digital currency exchanges in the UK, with the chief regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), intensifying its efforts to control the use of cryptocurrencies in the country.
Banks in the NatWest group have reportedly introduced a maximum limit on the amount that customers can send to digital currency exchanges in a day. The undisclosed limit has been introduced to tackle what the bank says is excessively high levels of fraud and investment scams, which have plagued retail investors in recent months.
The cap includes transfers for Binance, which has been the subject of increasing scrutiny from regulators in the U.K. and elsewhere in recent weeks.
In a statement, NatWest said the move was designed to protect customers from criminals relying on cryptocurrency as a mechanism for conducting fraud and scams.
“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 restrictions are the latest steps from the U.K. banking establishment to crackdown on cryptocurrency. It comes as the FCA have announced ever tightening rules against digital currency firms, and firms that accept payments in digital currency.
The move comes after NatWest announced in April it would refuse business customers who take payment in digital currencies, after identifying these as “high risk.”
It echoes similar steps from rival bank TSB, which brought in its own digital currency ban for customers in June.
Follow CoinGeek’s Crypto Crime Cartel series, which delves into the stream of groups—from BitMEX to Binance, BTC.com, Blockstream, ShapeShift, Coinbase, Ripple and
ETH—who have co-opted the digital asset revolution and turned the industry into a minefield for naïve (and even experienced) players in the market.
New to BTC? Check out CoinGeek’s BTC for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about BTC—as originally envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto—and blockchain.