Bank TSB set to bar 5.4M customers from buying crypto

Bank TSB is set to become the latest financial institution in the United Kingdom to prevent customers from investing in crypto.

United Kingdom-based financial institution TSB Banking Group Plc. will soon ban its over 5.4 million customers from buying Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies.

According to a report by The Telegraph on Saturday, the bank’s imminent crypto ban is due to alleged cases of fraud associated with cryptocurrency transactions.

Bank TSB has reportedly received a plethora of complaints from customers about crypto-related fraud cases. Indeed, the U.K. bank says about 12.5% of payments to crypto exchange platforms involve transactions as against one in 5,500 for non-virtual currency-related transfers.

Crypto exchange giant Binance has reportedly been linked to the rising number of crypto fraud complaints lodged by the bank’s customers. Two-thirds of suspected cases were linked to Binance, with 849 instances occurring between mid-March and mid-April.

As previously reported by Cointelegraph, U.K. bank NatWest issued a crypto scam alert back in May after reportedly receiving a record number of complaints in Q1. Earlier in April, the bank had served an anti-crypto notice to clients and customers to stay away from cryptocurrencies.

Apart from Binance, TSB Bank identified United States exchange service Kraken as another platform linked to a significant number of suspected fraud cases. The U.K. bank also criticized crypto exchanges for not responding to fraud-related customer complaints.

Commenting on plans to introduce a crypto ban, a spokesperson for TSB Bank remarked that it was the bank’s obligation to protect customers from platforms with “excessively high fraud rates.”

TSB Bank joins a growing list of U.K. financial institutions that have barred customers from crypto. Apart from NatWest, other British banks such as Barclays and Starling have moved to ban customers from depositing cash in cryptocurrency trading platforms.

Related: UK Starling bank to resume crypto exchange deposits in late June

Earlier in June, Starling announced that it would resume allowing customers to deposit cash in crypto exchanges from Wednesday.

At the start of the year, HSBC began preventing customers from withdrawing profits from crypto exchanges to their bank accounts.

While there is no crypto ban in the U.K., regulators remain critical of cryptocurrencies. In May, Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey warned that crypto investors ran the risk of losing all their money.

Bailey’s comments echoed a similar warning issued by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority back in January.

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