In the latest blow to Binance — the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange — U.K. bank NatWest is now blocking its customers from making payments to Binance both in the U.K. and abroad, reports Yahoo Finance. NatWest acted after Binance has come under increasing regulatory pressures.
- The move by NatWest — a Scotland-based bank with about 12.5 million customers — follows similar action by U.K. bank Barclays and Spanish bank Santander, both of which earlier this month also blocked payments from their U.K. customers to Binance.
- In June, the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority announced that Binance Markets Ltd., a subsidiary of Binance.com, was not to undertake any regulated activity in the U.K. without the consent of the FCA. BML was further required to display clearly on its website and social media that such decisions had been made against them.
- Binance is also facing regulatory heat elsewhere around the world, most recently in Italy, where the country’s securities regulator found the company was “not authorized to provide investment services and activities.” Regulatory investigations and enforcement against Binance are also taking place in the United States, Japan and the Cayman Islands.
- NatWest said it had seen a high number of cryptocurrency-related scams targeting investors through social media and was taking the action to protect their customers from falling victim to cybercrime. “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-related harm for our customers,” they said.
- Not all customers were pleased with NatWest’s level of protection, however. One customer tweeted: “NatWest have banned payment to Binance, mad. It’s like people can’t spend their money on what they want anymore.”