Chase UK Policy screenshot

Chase UK digital bank to block cryptocurrency purchases

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Chase UK, the country’s digital banking subsidiary of American giant JPMorgan Chase (NASDAQ: JPM), has banned payments related to cryptocurrency.

In an email to its clients, the bank said the move was to protect its customers at a time when ‘crypto’ scams have skyrocketed.

“Customers will receive a declined transaction notification if they do attempt to make a crypto-related transaction,” the bank said in the email.

“This has been done to protect our customers and keep their money safe,” Chase spokesperson added.

Chase UK cited data from Action Fraud, the U.K.’s fraud and cyber-crime reporting center, which revealed that crypto asset-related crime had surged in recent times. In the year ending March, losses from ‘crypto’ crime hit GBP300 million ($346 million) for the first time, rising by 40% year-on-year.

A senior banker at Chase UK claimed that the bank believes that up to 25% of all the crypto asset payments processed through its platforms go to scams.

“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,” the bank said in a statement to the media.

Customers can opt to use other banks, Chase UK added. However, it’s not as easy for U.K. investors to make the switch. The country’s digital asset industry has continued to face hostility from the banking industry, with Chase joining a rising number of banks that have blocked payments to digital asset platforms.

Earlier this year, the country’s (and Europe’s) largest bank, HSBC, announced limitations to digital asset payments and, two months ago, capped the maximum monthly payments at £10,000 ($12,139).

HSBC, despite the limitation, is still among the most progressive lenders. Others like NatWest and the Royal Bank of Scotland have capped it at GBP5,000 ($6,069), while Santander’s monthly cap stands at GBP3,000 ($3,641). These banks have, however, singled out Binance and banned all transactions to the exchange.

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