On 14 March 2023, UK-based bank Natwest Group announced new limits on cryptocurrency payments, citing crypto fraud that costs UK consumers £329 million annually. The limit imposed on crypto exchanges is £1,000 daily ($1,215), with a 30-day limit of £5,000 ($6,077).
Natwest’s cautious approach to crypto assets calls for a different transfer limit
In the midst of the banking sector in the United States following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and its subsidiary, Silicon Valley Bank UK Ltd., Edinburgh-based financial institution Natwest is restricting cryptocurrency payments. However, Natwest cites cryptocurrency fraud in the UK that costs consumers £329 million ($399 million) annually as the reason for the limit. The bank’s notice also indicates that men over the age of 35 are “most exposed” to such fraud.
Natwest’s press release, published on Tuesday, describes that “investments in cryptocurrency are often made through legitimate exchange platforms.” The UK banks added that these “websites allow customers to buy, sell or exchange cryptocurrencies for other digital or traditional currencies.” Natwest also emphasizes that, in addition to men over 35, criminals are using the ‘cost of living crisis’ to lure investors with the promise of high returns.”
“You should always have sole control of your cryptocurrency wallet and no one else should have access,” noted Stuart Skinner, head of Natwest’s fraud protection unit. “If you haven’t set up the wallet yourself or don’t have access to the money, this is likely a scam. We’ve seen an increase in scams using cryptocurrency exchanges, and we’re taking action to protect our customers.”
This is not the first time Natwest has restricted transfers to cryptocurrency exchanges. The bank set a temporary limit in June 2021, and the following month it specifically blocked payments to Binance, citing the increased risk of cryptocurrency fraud. Natwest has often categorized cryptocurrency assets as “high risk” in the past. In April 2021, just before the first limit was imposed, a Natwest chief risk officer said: “We have no appetite to deal with customers” trading cryptocurrencies.
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Jamie Redman is the news editor at Bitcoin.com News and a financial technology journalist living in Florida. Redman has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community since 2011. He has a passion for Bitcoin, open source and decentralized applications. Since September 2015, Redman has written more than 6,000 articles for Bitcoin.com News about the disruptive protocols emerging today.
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