Spain-based bank Santander’s U.K. business will no longer be allowing its customers to send payments to Binance, citing warnings from the Financial Conduct Authority.
Several replies from Santander’s U.K. Twitter help account today said the bank has “decided to prevent payments” to the world’s biggest crypto exchange in an effort to prevent fraud. The bank reportedly told customers they would still be able to withdraw cash from Binance, but it would be “following the FCA’s warning to consumers” in banning payments.
Many Santander account holders expressed negative feelings about the bank’s decision:
“As one of your long standing account holders, DO NOT tell me how I can spend MY money,” said Twitter user Brian Moore. “If I choose to use Binance then that is MY choice.”
A London-based user added:
“You are putting innocent, well informed customers at risk of losing significant investment due to your binance block. How is that fair or responsible? People can become victim to fraud or losses in many things; betting, bank scams, phone scams. This is absurd.”
Last month, the Financial Conduct Authority, or FCA, warned consumers that Binance Markets Limited would no longer be allowed to engage in any “regulated activity” in the United Kingdom. While the financial watchdog doesn’t regulate cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) or Ether (ETH), certain crypto derivatives and that which it considers a security falls under its mandate. The FCA told investors to be “be wary of adverts online and on social media promising high returns on investments in cryptoasset or cryptoasset-related products.”
Binance later responded to the notice, saying that the FCA mandate did not prevent the exchange — Binance.com — from conducting business in the United Kingdom, as Binance Markets Limited was a separate entity. However, some high-profile financial institutions in the U.K. have already imposed restrictions for customers dealing with Binance.
This week, British multinational bank Barclays told its customers it would be stopping any credit or debit card payments made to the crypto exchange until further notice, also citing the FCA notice. U.K.-based Starling Bank has seemingly echoed Santander’s position, saying that its customers can deposit crypto in their accounts, but its “international currency provider does not support the purchase of cryptocurrencies." However, Monzo, another British bank, said today its customers are “welcome to invest in crypto” in response to a question on restrictions concerning the exchange.