Starling To Resume Crypto Exchange Deposits In Late June

Starling bank will be allowing deposits for crypto currency again later this month

Starling Bank has announced that it will allow deposits to crypto exchanges on 23rd June, after blocking them last week.

The ability for customers to deposit on crypto exchange websites was temporarily suspended in the last week of May, in a measure aimed at protecting customers from fraud. Starling were not the only bank to suspend these payments – others, including Monzo and Barclays, also blocked them, and at the time of writing they have not revealed whether they will also permit them later in June.

Protecting Customer Funds

The issue of whether crypto exchanges should be legally allowed is one that the government is said to be considering. Only five companies have been authorized by the Financial Conduct Authority to make these transactions in the UK – these are Gemini Europe Services, Gemini Europe, Digivault, Ziglu and Archax Exchange.

John Glen,  the MP for Salisbury and the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, has commented on how few of the exchanges are currently regulated.

Of the firms assessed to date over 90% have withdrawn their application following FCA intervention. There are 167 crypto asset businesses with outstanding applications.

John Glen

The reason that the payments were originally blocked last week by multiple banks was that a high level of suspicious activity was taking place involving potential financial crime, which was believed to involve payments to cryptocurrency exchanges. Starling has announced that it is introducing new measures specifically targeted at checking payments to crypto exchanges before it opens up the service again.

Fraud Warnings

While some banks have made the step to all-out block payments to the exchanges, others have taken more tentative steps and instead sent out guidance to their customers on what to look for.

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    NatWest messaged their customers with some advice on the important information to know, which included:

    • Advising customers that anyone who was contacted by a ‘trader’ that was promising large profits and help in investing in cryptocurrency was likely being scammed, and that promises of profits should not be made.
    • Anyone with a crypto wallet that they didn’t set up themselves or that they don’t have access to is also likely to be a scam victim and should stop making payments into the wallet immediately and seek to gain control.
    • It reiterated that most cryptocurrency sellers are not registered with the FCA and that customers should only buy crypto from a firm listed on the FCA website
    • It made the point that customers who did not follow this advice could lose all their money.

    Fraud is one of the banking industry’s biggest topics of discussion now, with a huge rise in cases of people having their money taken from them, often without getting a refund from their bank once they make a complaint. Customers are advised to treat all communications from their bank carefully and to never give out their details when asked to.