NatWest blocks payments to crypto platform Binance

·2-min read
The Binance cryptocurrency logo is seen on a smartphone screen
NatWest is the latest bank to block payments to Binance. Photo: Thiago Prudencio/SOPA Images/Sipa USA

UK bank NatWest (NWG.L) has become the latest financial institution to freeze out cryptocurrency trading platform Binance.

This follows moves from peers Santander (SAN.MC) and Barclays (BARC.L) after the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issued a warning to consumers that one of the world’s largest bitcoin (BTC-USD) exchanges is not permitted to undertake regulated activities in the UK.

Binance Markets was ordered to remove all advertising and financial promotions by 30 June.

The company has been required to make clear on its website, social media platforms, and all other communications, that it is no longer permitted to operate in the UK, and must not carry out any regulated activities in Britain without prior consent.

A NatWest spokesperson said the bank has seen a high level of cryptocurrency investment scams targeting customers across retail and business banking, particularly through social media sites.

“To protect our customers from the criminals exploiting these platforms, 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.

"Our customers will still be able to accept cryptocurrencies as forms of payment.”

Read more: From Binance to Coinbase: The rise of cryptocurrency exchanges

It has been a turbulent few weeks for the exchange. Last week, Binance suspended GBP and EUR withdrawals after payments provider Clear Junction stopped facilitating them.

A statement on Clear Junction's website confirmed the move, citing an FCA ruling on the exchange.

At the time Binance said it was working to correct the problem and that it is committed to working with regulators to protect consumers.

Watch: What are the risks of investing in cryptocurrency?