NatWest bank sets $6K monthly limit on crypto exchange payments
NatWest, a UK retail and commercial bank, is taking steps to protect customers from potential crypto losses amid Bitcoin (BTC) hitting multi-month highs.
On March 14, NatWest introduced major restrictions on payments to cryptocurrency exchanges, imposing daily and monthly caps on such transactions.
According to an announcement shared with Cointelegraph, NatWest has set a limit of 1,000 British pounds ($1,216) for daily transactions involving crypto exchanges. The bank has also introduced a 30-day payment limit of GBP 5,000 ($6,080).
The latest restrictions from NatWest aim to protect customers from losing “life-changing sums of money”, the bank said, adding that crypto investments are risky due to a significant amount of fraud in the industry.
“We have seen an increase in fraud using cryptocurrency exchanges and we are acting to protect our customers,” said NatWest head of fraud protection Stuart Skinner. Stressing the importance of self-storage in crypto, the executive warned crypto investors against delegating the storage of their assets to a third party, saying:
“You should always have sole control of your cryptocurrency wallet and no one else should have access. If you didn’t set up the wallet yourself or don’t have access to the money, it’s probably a scam.”
According to NatWest, crypto fraudsters have increasingly taken advantage of the ongoing cost of living crisis due to promises of high returns.
“Criminals play on a lack of understanding of how cryptocurrency markets work and their unpredictability to encourage investors to transfer money to exchanges, which are often set up in the customer’s own name by the criminal or by the victim, under duress from the criminal,” the bank said. Men over 35 are most at risk because they are more willing to take the risk on their investments, the announcement noted.
In the statement, NatWest also shared a few steps to avoid falling victim to cryptocurrency scams, including the recommendation to never share one’s private keys with others. The bank also advised crypto investors to read all information at a slow pace to avoid hasty investments and fake websites. NatWest also advised investors to watch out for giveaways as one of the most widespread scams in crypto.
Related: Binance will lose its British pound entry and exit provider in 9 weeks
NatWest is known to cut all credit and debit card payments to the Binance crypto exchange in 2021. At the time, the company also referred to a high level of crypto investment fraud.
The news comes amid Bitcoin surging above $26,000 as US Consumer Price Index (CPI) data indicated inflation rose 6% year-on-year and 0.4% month-on-month. BTC price growth is also likely to be attributed to the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the failure of major US banks, including Silicon Valley Bank, Silvergate and Signature Bank.