The bank will implement a block on all real-time payments to cryptocurrency exchanges made via telephone banking and in-branch payments, as well as online and mobile banking, at an unspecified point in 2023.
Beginning November 15th, the bank will join other UK retail banks in restricting customer transfers to cryptocurrency exchanges.
Transfers to crypto exchanges via mobile and online banking will be limited to 1,000 pounds ($1,123) per transaction and 3,000 pounds total in any rolling 30-day period for Santander customers.
Customers will still be able to receive cryptocurrency exchange payouts into their accounts. Global regulators have warned of the risks of scams and fraud in the largely unregulated world of cryptocurrency trading.
According to a notice on its website, Santander has seen a “large increase” in UK customers becoming victims of cryptocurrency fraud in recent months.
“Keeping our customers safe from cryptocurrency scams is a top priority,” a Santander spokesperson said.
“We intend to further protect customers by blocking all faster payments we identify to cryptocurrency exchanges from Santander accounts – this will be implemented during the course of 2023.”
Faster Payments is the infrastructure that enables real-time bank transfers for the majority of UK bank accounts.
Faster Payments’ parent company, Pay UK, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Santander said it would continue to block all transfers to the cryptocurrency exchange Binance, a policy that was implemented in July 2021 in response to a warning from the UK’s financial regulator about the exchange.
Binance did not respond immediately to a request for comment. Last year, the NatWest Group in the United Kingdom set a daily limit for customers to send to cryptocurrency exchanges.
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