The latest bank to crack down on cryptocurrencies in the UK is Santander Bank. Over the weekend, it was reported that the retail bank plans to block real-time payments to cryptocurrency exchanges by 2023.
The bank claims to protect customers from fraud. The ban on digital currencies will cover the industry, mobile banking and internet for Santander customers.
According to Reuters, bank users will be able to receive funds from cryptocurrency exchanges, but will not be able to deposit.
Santander: Customer Protection
According to a statement on its website, Santander “has seen a significant increase in the number of UK customers falling victim to cryptocurrency scams” in recent months.
According to a bank spokesperson, “Protecting our customers from cryptocurrency fraud is a top priority.” So it seems to be controlling what they can do with their own money.
“We intend to increase customer protection by banning any faster payments we identify to crypto exchanges from Santander accounts – this will be implemented over the course of 2023.”
Faster Payments is a British payment system that enables almost instant transfers. It also appears to work with anti-fraud mechanisms, according to the report.
Santander began blocking crypto transactions last year when it targeted Binance following warnings from UK financial regulators. It also halted transfers to Coinbase (which is fully regulated) in 2021.
It is not the only UK bank to take a stand against cryptocurrency exchanges. Last year, TSB took steps to prevent its clients from switching to Kraken and Binance, and Natwest Bank said it would not serve clients who wish to do business with cryptocurrency exchanges.
Britain’s financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority, has repeatedly warned of risks and fraud in the cryptocurrency industry. The country has yet to roll out a formal regulatory framework for digital assets, and banks are still flexing their muscles.
UK Crypto Outlook
The UK has been primarily against the cryptocurrency industry in recent days, but there are signs that this trend could soon change.
This is mainly driven by changes at the highest level and Rishi Sunak has become the new Prime Minister. He has been supportive of the industry in the past, arguing that the UK needs to put in place proper legislation on cryptocurrency operations.
The UK branch in Santander appeared after the end of the process of protecting customers by first blocking crypto exchange deposits on CryptoPotato.