National Australia Bank (NAB), one of Australia’s “big four” banks, announced it is taking action to block some payments to “high-risk” cryptocurrency exchanges as part of its new customer protection measures aimed at reducing scams.

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Fast facts

  • NAB intervened in more than AU$270 million (US$182.7 million) worth of customer payments which raised scam alerts in the four months between March and July, the bank said in a statement on Monday, adding that it would introduce blocks on crypto exchanges where scams are more prevalent. 
  • Crypto scams are one of the fastest-growing security threats, with Australian investors losing more than AU$221 million (US$149.6 million) last year, according to NAB.
  • NAB is one of the four largest banks in Australia, known as the big four, along with Commonwealth Bank, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group and Westpac. 
  • Last month, Commonwealth Bank also said it would block some payments to certain crypto exchanges to restrict customers from making payments as part of its anti-scam program. 
  • The Australian Securities and Investments Commission canceled Binance Australia’s derivatives license in April. Binance, one of the most popular exchanges in Australia, said at that time that it was winding down its Australian derivatives exchange to focus on a locally registered spot exchange. 
  • In May, Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, suspended its Australian dollar services after a payment provider cut off service to the exchange.

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