Santander UK joins Barclays in blocking payments to Binance after regulator clamps down on the crypto exchange

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Binance CEO, Changpeng Zhao.

  • Santander’s UK unit has joined Barclays in blocking customer payments to crypto exchange Binance.
  • The FCA, the UK financial watchdog, has banned Binance from trading regulated derivatives.
  • A series of countries have been cracking down on the crypto exchange, including Poland and Japan.
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Santander UK has joined rival banks Barclays and NatWest in stopping its customers from making payments to Binance after the national regulator said the cryptocurrency exchange was not allowed to trade regulated derivatives.

In a customer update sent via email on Thursday, Santander told its UK clients the bank would block payments to Binance for their client safety and protection. Customers could however still receive funds from Binance.

“We’re taking this step as we want to do everything we can to protect you and keep your money safe.” the email said.

The bank cited the FCA’s statement warning consumers about Binance and said they were making the change to protect customers from fraud.

“In recent months, we have seen a large increase in UK 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.” Santander’s UK customer service account added via Twitter in response to a complaint about the ban.

Santander’s customers had taken to the social media platform to protest the ban and suggest they would close their accounts with the bank unless it reversed its decision

The Financial Conduct Authority told Binance in late June it had to halt regulated activities unless it obtained prior written permission from the regulator. The FCA effectively banned the crypto exchange’s UK-listed entity, Binance Markets, from offering crypto derivatives.

A series of UK-based financial institutions have since stopped their customers from making payments to the crypto exchange platform, among them Barclays and NatWest, which are some of the biggest retail banks in the country.

Binance’s main exchange is not UK-based, so people in the country who buy and sell cryptocurrencies via its platform will not be affected by the ban, the crypto exchange provider said at the time of the ban.

Binance has been in the hot seat in various countries now – most recently the Polish regulator urged caution, while Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission filed a criminal complaint against the company for unlicensed operating.

Japan’s regulator had also issued a warning about Binance operating in the country despite not having obtained a license to do so and the crypto exchange risks being fined in Germany for offering digital tokens that track securities without presenting an investor prospectus, according to Reuters.

On Wednesday, the day before Santander’s announcement, Binance’s CEO Changpeng Zhao wrote a blog post addressing the regulatory crackdown. He said he welcomed regulation as it helped the industry grow and that Binance was focused on its customers best interests.

“Compliance is a journey – especially in new sectors like crypto. […] Binance has grown very quickly and we haven’t always got everything exactly right, but we are learning and improving every day. We hope to clarify and reiterate our commitment to partner with regulators, and that we are proactively hiring more talent, putting in place more systems and processes to protect our users.” he wrote.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Barclays bans UK customers from making card payments to Binance, citing a notice from the national regulator

Nighttime view of Barclays Bank in New York

Barclays, one of the top British banks by assets, suspended debit and credit card payments to crypto-trading platform Binance on Monday, citing a notice from the country’s financial services regulator.

Customers received a phone text message from the bank to notify them about the move.

“As you’ve made a payment to Binance this year, we wanted to let you know that we’re stopping payments made by credit/debit card to them until further notice. This is to help keep your money safe,” the message read.

The UK’s financial services regulator on June 26 ordered Binance to halt any regulated operations – effectively, a ban on Binance Markets, its only UK-regulated entity, from offering crypto derivatives. At the time, Binance said the Financial Conduct Authority’s notice had no direct impact on the services it provides via the Binance.com website.

But experts have told Insider it’s just the start of a broader crackdown by regulators, as governments feel emboldened to take on crypto platforms the way they have gone up against Big Tech.

Barclays’ customers immediately took to Twitter to express frustration over the sudden ban, with some threatening to close their accounts.

Barclays told Insider that it would continue to review its position on the length of restriction, but “the safety of our customers’ money will be at the forefront of any decision.”

“This action does not impact on the ability for customers to withdraw funds from Binance,” a spokesperson from the bank said.

Binance said in a tweet on Monday that it was disappointed to learn about some partners taking unilateral action to stop servicing its users “based on what appears to be an inaccurate understanding of events.”

Read More: Famed investor Michael Burry is predicting the ‘mother of all crashes’. Here’s what 9 other key ‘Big Short’ players are doing now.

Read the original article on Business Insider