Chase bank to ban all crypto transactions in UK

The British arm of JP Morgan Chase announced Tuesday it will ban all cryptocurrency transactions in the UK to protect its retail banking customers from online fraud.

The international banking giant said the restrictions will take place starting October 16th.

“Our policy around crypto is changing,” read the announcement posted on its website, “From October 16th, if we think you are making a payment related to crypto assets, we’ll decline it.”

“We’ve made this decision because fraudsters are increasingly using crypto assets to steal large sums of money from people," Chase said.

“Declining these payments is one of the ways were helping to keep your money safe," the post said.

"We've seen an increase in the number of crypto scams targeting UK consumers, so we have taken the decision to prevent the purchase of crypto assets on a Chase debit card or by transferring money to a crypto site from a Chase account," a spokesperson for the bank said.

The bank also warned customers that although they are welcome to use a different bank or provider to invest in crypto assets, people “may not be able to get the money back if the payment ends up being related to fraud or scam.”

Chase has become the latest UK bank to put restrictions on its customers' access to crypto amid concerns about scams by online criminals.

The London-based National Westminster Bank put daily and monthly limits on the amount of money customers can send to crypto exchanges back in March, stating the move was to protect consumers from "crypto-criminals."

Last November, Spain’s Santander bank, which has about 445 branches across England, announced it would block UK customers from sending real-time payments to crypto exchanges starting in 2023, although the ban has not yet been enacted.

Crypto exchanges, such as Coinbase, who acknowledged the Chase crypto ban on Tuesday, allow cryptocurrency holders and traders to directly link their bank accounts to the platform to buy and sell assets, as well as top up their accounts.

JPMorgan gained about 1.6 million British customers since it launched its mobile-based banking app in the UK two years ago, but does not have any physical branches in the UK.