Chase, the digital bank subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase in the UK, is set to implement a ban on cryptocurrency-related payments and outgoing bank transfers for its UK clients, effective October 16. This decision responds to the escalating number of crypto scams targeting UK consumers.
A spokesperson for Chase stated, “We’ve seen an increase in the number of crypto scams targeting U.K. consumers, so we have decided to prevent the purchase of crypto assets on a Chase debit card or by transferring money to a crypto site from a Chase account.”
Chase, which introduced its app-based banking service in the UK in 2021, has garnered over 1.6 million clients. JPMorgan Chase, its parent company, is the largest bank in the United States, boasting total assets worth over US$3 trillion.
This move by Chase follows in the footsteps of NatWest Bank, which, in March, limited its customers’ payments to crypto exchanges to £1,000 (approximately US$1,214) per day to protect against crypto theft. NatWest disclosed that UK consumers lost £329 million (around US$400 million) to crypto scams in the preceding year.
Despite these restrictions, the UK has been actively fostering its blockchain and cryptocurrency sector, with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak publicly endorsing the industry. In June, the UK passed the Financial Services and Markets Act 2023, a reform bill that empowered its financial authorities to classify crypto as a regulated financial instrument. While these regulations aimed to provide more clarity, they also raised concerns among some crypto advocates in the UK due to the restrictions imposed on marketing campaigns.
In conclusion, Chase UK’s ban on crypto-related transactions highlights the growing concerns surrounding crypto scams in the country. While the UK has made significant strides in regulating the cryptocurrency industry, financial institutions proactively protect their customers from potential fraud and theft. These developments underscore the delicate balance between fostering innovation and safeguarding consumers in the evolving world of cryptocurrency.