Another bank has joined the blockade of transfers to the largest cryptocurrency exchange. The British division of the Spanish bank Santander has notified customers of the suspension of operations with the cryptocurrency exchange Binance. Users will no longer be able to send funds to the site from their Santander UK accounts. The bank’s decision is related to a warning issued by the British financial regulator (FCA). However, the bank still allows you to withdraw money from the exchange to client accounts.
Santander UK said in a statement that the number of victims of cryptocurrency fraud among the bank’s clients “has increased significantly” in recent months.
Thus, the institution explained the measure taken by “helping to protect” clients.
Note that the Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority has data that currently about 2.3 million British citizens own cryptocurrencies. It’s more than 4% of the country’s adult population.
Binance representatives commented on the situation. Emphasizing that the FCA warning didn’t in any way apply to deposits of British users on the exchange:
“We are disappointed with Santander’s unilateral action. We believe that they are based on a misunderstanding of events”.
Previous bans related to exchange
On July 7, it became known that one of the largest financial conglomerates in the world, Barclays, has banned clients in the UK from transferring funds to Binance. Users have lost the ability to replenish their accounts on the crypto exchange from bank debit and credit cards. But the restriction does not apply to withdrawals.
At the end of June, the FCA announced that the largest crypto exchange in terms of trading volume, Binance, cannot operate in the country. The regulator claims that Binance.com’s service provider, Binance Markets Limited, a Binance Group company, not licensed to operate in the UK.
However, the ban did not affect Binance.com, the main cryptocurrency exchange platform. It is therefore unclear why banks have moved to blocking user payments on Binance.com following the FCA warning.
Lloyds Bank reportedly doesn’t allow cryptographic credit card payments, including on Binance. NatWest also reportedly lowered the daily limit on how much money can be sent to cryptocurrency exchanges. Following “high levels of cryptocurrency investment scams”.
Binance is losing fiat money flows from the UK following the FCA crackdown.
Note that amid statements by the British regulator, Binance has disabled two popular payment systems. At the end of June, the exchange turned off the Faster Payments payment system, and now users of the site from the UK will not be able to withdraw money in pounds sterling through this system. Later, it was announced that it would suspend accepting deposits through the European SEPA system. The SEPA network allows customers to send euros to 36 countries.
Repression by regulators around the world against Binance
In addition to the UK regulator, Binance has recently faced harassment from regulators around the world, including the US, Japan, Thailand and the Cayman Islands.
So, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand also stated that Binance operates in the country without a license.
The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority has initiated an audit of the company.
Following a series of statements from regulatory agencies, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao spoke in an open letter about the company’s plans to ensure compliance and protect customers.