Natwest cracks down on crypto payments: Bank limits customers to £1,000 a day as some lose life-changing sums of money to scams
- The bank will also introduce a 30-day limit of £5,000 for its customers
- It comes amid growing fears of orchestrated scams via crypto exchanges
- Nationwide, Santander and Starling also have limits on crypto transactions
Natwest has become the latest major bank to crack down on cryptocurrency payments amid fears of a rise in scams.
Natwest will introduce a daily limit of £1,000 for cryptocurrency exchanges and a 30-day limit of £5,000, to “help protect customers who lose life-changing sums of money”.
A crypto exchange is a market where you can buy and sell cryptocurrencies.
There are growing concerns that criminals promise high returns as a way to lure investors into fraudulent crypto investments, especially during the cost of living crisis.
Crypto crackdown: Natwest latest UK bank to limit customer use of cryptocurrency exchanges
The bank says men over the age of 35 are most at risk of scams, as they are more willing to undertake riskier investments.
Often fraudsters use investors’ lack of understanding of cryptocurrencies and their volatility to encourage investors to transfer money to exchanges.
Natwest says these are often set up on behalf of the client by the criminal or by the victim, under duress from the criminal.
Unlike other investments, cryptocurrencies are not protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and most are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Stuart Skinner, Head of Fraud Protection at NatWest, says, “You should always have sole control of your cryptocurrency wallet and no one else should have access to it.” If you didn’t set up the wallet yourself or can’t access the money, it’s probably a scam.
“We have seen an increase in the number of scams using cryptocurrency exchanges and we are taking action to protect our customers.”
UK banks have become tougher on customers using crypto in recent months.
Earlier this month, Nationwide announced that it would introduce limits on card payments to crypto exchanges from a checking account and ban all credit card payments.
Adult current accounts will allow daily transfers of £5,000, while FlexOne accounts will have a daily limit of £100.
Santander announced a limit of £1,000 per trade and a total limit of £3,000 over any rolling 30-day period, following the collapse of the crypto exchange in FTX last November.
Starling Bank is one of the strictest, barring customers from all crypto-related payments. The bank said it “considered crypto activity to be high risk” in November.
Natwest shared three steps to avoid falling victim to a cryptocurrency scam:
- Never share your crypto wallet password with anyone, even if your crytpo contact/investor says they need it to deposit money into your wallet.
- Read all information slowly and don’t be in a rush to make an investment due to market volatility. This is an opportunity to check for typos and grammatical errors on a fake website.
- Beware of gifts – social media is full of crypto criminals using fake posts from well-known companies and celebrities promoting giveaways on fake accounts. They will often have positive responses in the ad that will make it seem more legit, but those are also fake.