UK’s Starling Bank prohibits cryptocurrency exchange deposits while dealing with "high levels of alleged financial fraud."
Due to worries about illegal activities, the British digital bank has temporarily prohibited its clients from putting funds into cryptocurrency exchanges.
“This is a temporary step that we've adopted to protect clients after observing high amounts of suspected financial crime with payments to specific cryptocurrency exchanges,” Starling told. “This is a concern for all banks, not just Starling.”
According to Starling, the block will be lifted “as we bring out further checks particularly for payments to crypto exchanges.” When asked when the bank plans to lift the embargo, the representative declined to respond.
The bank, however, stated that only deposits from Starling accounts to crypto exchanges are prohibited. Customers can continue to withdraw funds from cryptocurrency exchanges into their Starling accounts without limitation. Starling is a mobile-only bank that debuted in the United Kingdom in 2014.
Other UK banks have not followed suit. According to Barclays, it has not stopped transfers to cryptocurrency exchanges.
Since Thursday, NatWest has urged consumers to be wary of cryptocurrency traders who "promise enormous returns and offer to assist." The bank has imposed no limitations on cryptocurrency trading. It recommends its consumers to only engage with fully registered or temporarily registered crypto firms with the Financial Conduct Authority.
Only five companies have completed their registrations: Ziglu (a crypto-friendly bank founded by Starling co-founder Mark Hipperson last year), Gemini Europe Services Ltd, Gemini Europe Ltd, Digivault, and Archax.
While another 167 crypto firms have unresolved applications, Salisbury MP John Glen informed Parliament on Friday that 90 percent of the firms that applied withdrew applications “following FCA intervention.”