NatWest latest institution to restrict crypto – Do banks know what is best for us?

The queue gets longer of traditional institutions, such as banks, that seek to curtail the crypto investments of their customers. British based NatWest Group is the latest bank to impose restrictions. This will see a cap on the daily amount that customers can send to cryptocurrency exchanges. 

An article published on Reuters detailed the move in which NatWest has capped the amount that their customers can send to cryptocurrency exchanges. The reason given for the move is cited as “concerns over investment scams and fraud”. 

The move comes fresh on the heels of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) warning for Binance, the largest crypto exchange in the world: 

“Binance Markets Limited is not permitted to undertake any regulated activity in the UK.” 

The NatWest statement expresses concerns over crypto investment scams that are particularly prevalent on 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.” 

The NatWest bank does have a duty to protect its customers from fraud, whether that takes place through fiat orientated or crypto scams. There are bound to be vulnerable customers who need advice, and in some instances, protection from potentially losing their money to fraudsters. 

However, wholesale restrictions on customers across the board, just in the area of cryptocurrency, does appear to be a heavy-handed move to attempt to impede customers in their legitimate efforts to spend their money as they wish. 

People invest in cryptocurrency for precisely this reason, that they want to be able to transact ‘their own money’ without banks or other institutions telling them if they are allowed to or not. 

The cryptocurrency sector is a very young one. The technology emerging here, especially in the financial arena, could certainly be said to be far in advance of what exists in the traditional financial system. There are bound to be some flaws, especially initially.  

However, many people who have educated themselves on the matter are going to want to invest in various cryptocurrencies and crypto orientated products. It’s not for the banks to decide what is best for them, especially given that these banks have a huge vested interest in the prolongation of the current failing financial system. 

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice. 

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