Santander has blocked payments from UK customers to the cryptocurrency exchange Binance, following the FCA’s decision to ban it from offering its services in the UK. The Spanish banking giant joins a growing list of banks who have blacklisted the exchange, including Barclays.
NatWest was the first to take action, putting a limit on how much money its customers could send to crypto exchanges like Binance back in June. Barclays blocked Binance payments on Monday, and then on Tuesday Nationwide announced it was assessissing its crypto transactions policies.
The moves come after the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced that Binance shouldn’t be operating in the UK. A Santander spokesperson told CoinDesk that “In recent months we have seen a large increase in U.K. customers becoming the victims of cryptocurrency fraud.”
“Keeping our customers safe is a top priority, so we have decided to prevent payments to Binance following the FCA’s warning to consumers”, they added.
On the 26th June, the FCA published the following on its website: “Binance Markets Limited is not permitted to undertake any regulated activity in the UK. This firm is part of a wider Group (Binance Group).”
“Due to the imposition of requirements by the FCA, Binance Markets Limited is not currently permitted to undertake any regulated activities without the prior written consent of the FCA.”
“No other entity in the Binance Group holds any form of UK authorisation, registration or licence to conduct regulated activity in the UK.”
The FCA has long warned consumers of the risks of investing in crypto due to the volatile nature of the market. The Binance ban is another major move by the FCA in its crack down on the crypto market, following its decision to ban crypto CFDs earlier this year.
The UK regulator is not the only financial authority that has warned consumers about Binance. On Thursday, the Polish Financial Supervision Authority (PFSA) sent out a similar warning, stating that consumers should be wary of using the crypto exchange’s services as it isn’t regulated by the PFSA.
The UK’s ban on Binance, one of the world’s leading crypto exchanges, has been a big boost to its rivals. Bistampt, for example, saw a 138% increase in customers since the FCA’s announcement, while a spokesperson for Kraken said that the number of UK signups to the exchange had doubled in a fortnight. Gemini, one of few FCA registered crypto asset firms, also reported “tremendous growth”. Coinbase, the US’s largest crypto exchange, refused to comment.