Natwest cracks down on crypto payments: Bank limits customers to £1,000 per day as some lose ‘life changing’ sums of money to scams
- Bank will also put in place a 30-day limit of £5,000 for its customers
- It comes amid growing fears of scams orchestrated via crypto exchanges
- Nationwide, Santander and Starling also have limits on crypto transactions
Natwest has become the latest high street bank to crack down on cryptocurrency payments amid fears of an increase in scams.
Natwest will introduce a daily limit of £1,000 to cryptocurrency exchanges and a 30-day limit of £5,000, to ‘help protect customers losing life changing sums of money.’
A crypto exchange is a marketplace where you can buy and sell cryptocurrencies.
There has been growing concern that criminals are promising high returns as a way to entice investors into fraudulent crypto investments, particularly during the cost-of-living crisis.
Crypto crackdown: Natwest is the latest UK bank to limit customer use of cryptocurrency exchanges
The bank says men over 35 are most at risk of being scammed because they are more willing to take on 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 are often set up in the customer’s name by the criminal or by the victim, under duress from the criminal.
Unlike other investments, cryptocurrencies aren’t protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and most aren’t 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 nobody else should have access. If you didn’t set the wallet up yourself or can’t access the money then this is likely to be a scam.
‘We have seen an increase in the number of scams using cryptocurrency exchanges and we are acting to protect our customers.’
UK banks have been getting tougher on customers using crypto in recent months.
Earlier this month, Nationwide announced it would introduce limits on card payments to crypto exchanges from a current account, and ban all payments using a credit card.
Adult current accounts will allow for £5,000 in daily transfers, while FlexOne accounts will have a £100 daily limit.
Santander announced a £1,000 limit per transaction, and a total limit of £3,000 in any rolling 30-day period, in the aftermath of the collapse of crypto exchange in FTX last November.
Starling Bank is one of the strictest, banning customers from all crypto-related payments. The bank said they ‘consider crypto activity to be high risk’ in November.
Natwest has shared three steps to help avoid becoming the victim of a cryptocurrency scam:
- Never share the password of your crypto wallet 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 rushed into making an investment due to the volatility of the market. This is an opportunity to look out for typos and grammatical mistakes on a fake website.
- Beware of giveaways – social media is awash with crypto-criminals using fake messages from well-known companies and celebrities promoting giveaways to fake accounts. They’ll often have positive responses within the advertisement which make it seem more legitimate, but these are also fake.
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk