Crypto: Big UK banks still reluctant?

Finder, a personal finance comparison platform, recently conducted a study on the position of major UK banks vis-à-vis cryptos. It shows that most still refuse this type of transaction if others show a certain flexibility. Crypto-friendly banks are in the minority.

Big British banks: just under half refuse cryptos

Finder recently conducted a study on the position of the major UK banks vis-à-vis cryptos. This Australian platform specializing in personal finance comparison conducted the survey with 17 of the largest banks and banking applications in the United Kingdom. The research findings reveal that just under half of the banks surveyed (47%) do not yet allow crypto transactions.

Just under half of major UK banks refuse crypto transactions.

In concrete terms, 7 banks refuse any transfer involving crypto exchanges. These also do not allow debit/credit card purchases from these same platforms. Here is the list of those banks still strongly reluctant to transactions involving digital assets: First Direct, Metro Bank, Virgin Money, Halifax, HSBC, The Co-operative Bank and TSB.

Less than a quarter of banks are crypto-friendly in the UK

Of the 17 banks surveyed, only 4 (including one traditional bank and 3 online banks/banking app) are considered crypto-friendly. This corresponds to only 24% of the banking institutions that participated in the study. These are Nationwide, Starling, Monzo and Revolut. According to Finder, all of them allow transfers and withdrawals from crypto exchanges, except Binance.

You should know that the English regulators have banned Binance. The exchange was no longer authorized to undertake regulated activity in the UK since June 30, 2021. Crypto-friendly banks take this measure into account. For the rest, they authorize all crypto transactions with other exchanges. The survey also reveals that those who are in favor of cryptoassets put user security at the heart of their concern.

The rest still on reserve

After analysis, Finder has isolated a third category of banks/banking apps, those that are still on reserve. These do not categorically refuse transactions crypto, but show some flexibility. In other words, they accept under certain conditions. There are those that do not accept credit card payments, and those that have an exchange blacklist.

This category consists solely of large traditional British banks. These are Barclays, Lloyds Bank, Bank of Scotland, NatWest and RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland). These are the positions of the banks. What about UK regulators? Overall, the UK is quite favorable to crypto-assets. In a recent speech to Parliament, Richard Fuller, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury said that the new UK government “wants to evolve crypto technologies”.

The government wants to be crypto-friendly, especially with the arrival of the new Prime Minister Liz Truss. Nevertheless, the big British banks still have to be convinced. At least there is already one thing that brings them together. For regulators and banks alike, consumer protection is at the center of attention.

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