Chase Bank is banning crypto-linked transactions for its U.K. customers starting Oct. 16, the bank said Tuesday.
“We’ve seen an increase in the number of crypto scams targeting U.K. 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 Chase spokesperson told Reuters.
In an email reported by CoinDesk, Chase U.K. told customers, “If we think you're making a payment related to crypto assets, we'll decline it.”
Customers can use a different bank for their crypto transactions, the email said.
Other U.K. banks imposed bans on crypto transactions earlier this year, citing fraud and volatility.
“We have taken a pretty hard line as a bank on crypto,” NatWest’s then-CEO, Alison Rose, told the House of Commons Treasury Select Committee in February, according to CoinDesk. “We're blocking retail and wealth customers from transferring into crypto assets because of the volatility and the stability of the platform.”
“We look at it through a fraud perspective,” Rose told the panel. “We know that can cause frustration for customers because they may want to invest — it's their money — but if we're evidencing significant fraud, we block them.”
As part of its reasoning, Chase warned U.K. customers Tuesday that “fraudsters are increasingly using crypto assets to steal large sums of money from people.”
Action Fraud, the U.K.’s national reporting center for fraud and cyber crime, reported in May that losses to crypto fraud swelled 40% over the previous year. Such losses amounted to more than £300 million for the first time ever.
More than one-third of those losses occurred in November 2022, in the month following FTX’s bankruptcy filing, according to the Financial Times.