NatWest, a major United Kingdom-based retail and commercial bank, has blocked all credit and debit card payments to crypto exchange Binance until further notice, the bank confirmed to Cointelegraph on Thursday.
"All credit and debit card transactions to Binance have been blocked. We have been limiting payments to Binance for a number of weeks," a spokesperson for NatWest said, adding that resuming Binance support will be continually under review.
The representative said that the bank has seen a high level of cryptocurrency investment scams targeting its customers across retail and business banking, particularly through social media sites. "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. Our customers will still be able to accept cryptocurrencies as forms of payment," the spokesperson noted.
The move has triggered widescale outrage in the crypto community, with many disgruntled NatWest clients expressing their discontent with the bank willing to decide how to spend their money.
I welcome advice on how I spend & invest my money here in the UK, but do not force obstruction. This is so far from the solution to the problems you are claiming it solves within @binance & cryptocurrency scams @NatWest_Help. pic.twitter.com/cKKwM2UQKY— FEGMike (@FegMike) July 22, 2021
Some crypto enthusiasts expressed disappointment with Natwest’s move, with one Twitter user stating that “It’s like people can’t spend their money on what they want anymore.” One reported NatWest user even complained, ”I will be removing my long term custom, and I encourage others to do the same. I have not authorised them to make financial decisions on my behalf.“
Binance did not immediately respond to Cointelegraph’s request for comment.
NatWest has previously restricted crypto services to its users. The company introduced a daily limit for crypto purchases by its clients in late June, targeting a number of crypto exchanges including Binance.
The bank has followed the example of Barclays, the British multinational universal bank that started blocking payments to Binance in late June until further notice. A spokesperson for Binance subsequently emphasized that the Financial Conduct Authority’s recent warning about the firm only applied to Binance Markets Limited, a separate legal entity from the main global exchange that operates through Binance.com.