Santander UK Joins Other Banks to Block Payments to Binance Due to FCA Warning & to Keep its Customers ‘Safe’
The British unit of the Spanish banking giant also said that they have seen “a large increase in UK customers becoming the victims of cryptocurrency fraud.”
Santander UK is the latest bank to block payments to leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance amidst global crackdown, which now also includes Poland, where the Polish Financial Supervision Authority cautioned against using the platform citing the FCA’s statement.
Much like Barclays, Santander UK says, this move has been made to keep its customers' funds safe.
“Keeping our customers safe is a top priority, so we have decided to prevent payments to Binance following the FCA's (Financial Conduct Authority's) warning to consumers,” tweeted the support page of the British unit of the Spanish banking giant.
Santander UK further said that it has been seeing “a large increase” in its UK customers, becoming the victim of crypto fraud in recent months.
According to FCA, about 2.3 million people in the UK hold cryptocurrencies. Meanwhile, a study by behavioral finance firm Oxford Risk found that one in five UK customers actually don’t know what they are doing despite owning crypto assets.
This move comes after the UK regulator FCA banned Binance Markets Limited (BM), a separate UK-based entity of Binance, from operating in the country, saying the firm is not authorized to do so.
The ban, however, was limited to BML and did not affect Binance. Still, since then, Binance’s UK customers are facing issues in deposits and withdrawals, with banks suspending transfers to the crypto exchange, citing FCA’s warning.
“We are disappointed that Santander appears to have taken unilateral action based on what appears to be an inaccurate understanding of events,” said a Binance spokesperson in a statement.
As we reported earlier this week, Barclays banned debit or credit card payments to Binance until further notice, which came after a similar ban by Lloyds Bank. Lender NatWest has also lowered the daily limit on transfers to crypto exchanges due to a “high level of cryptocurrency investment scams.”
“When one bank bans, refuses transactions in a region… generally they all do. Call it a linked network of businesses. Call it a cartel. It is what it is,” commented crypto enthusiast and market maker @IamNomad.
Additionally, Binance itself temporarily suspended customer deposits via the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA), which allows customers to send euros across 36 countries due to “events beyond our control.”
Unlike the banks in the UK, Bank of America has launched cryptocurrency research efforts, calling the sector “one of the fastest-growing emerging technology ecosystems.”
“We are uniquely positioned to provide thought leadership due to our strong industry research analysis, market-leading global payments platform, and our blockchain expertise,” Candace Browning, the bank’s global head of research, wrote in the note to colleagues.