By Elizabeth Howcroft
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s NatWest has imposed new limits on the daily and monthly amount customers can send to cryptocurrency exchanges, seeking to protect consumers from “crypto-criminals”, the bank said on Tuesday.
From Tuesday customer transfers to cryptocurrency exchanges will be limited to 5,000 pounds ($6,088) per 30-day period, with no more than 1,000 pounds per day, NatWest said.
Regulators around the world have warned of the risks of scams and fraud in the largely unregulated world of crypto trading.
Consumers across the UK lost 329 million pounds in crypto crime last year, NatWest said, with the cost-of-living crisis contributing to the problem as criminals lure investors with the promise of high returns.
“We have seen an increase in the number of scams using cryptocurrency exchanges and we are acting to protect our customers,” said Stuart Skinner, head of fraud protection at NatWest, which is one of Britain’s domestic biggest lenders.
In June 2021 NatWest introduced some daily caps on customers’ crypto transfers to crypto exchanges, including top platform Binance, with the limits varying in size depending on the platform in question. It cited concerns over investment scams and fraud.
Santander said in November last year that it would block customers from sending real-time payments to cryptocurrency exchanges some time this year.
($1 = 0.8213 pounds)
(Reporting by Elizabeth Howcroft; Editing by David Goodman)