Chase Bank, a subsidiary of financial services company JPMorgan Chase, will restrict all cryptocurrency-related transactions for its customers in the United Kingdom.
Starting Oct. 16, customers of Chase Bank in the U.K. will no longer be able to make crypto transactions using their debit cards or through outgoing bank transfers, a spokesperson told Cointelegraph on Sept. 26.
“Customers will receive a declined transaction notification if they do attempt to make a crypto-related transaction,” the bank said in a statement.
According to the bank’s representative, Chase has decided to enforce the new restrictions due to an “increase in fraud and scams” related to crypto assets. The spokesperson referred to data from Britain’s fraud reporting agency, Action Fraud, indicating that U.K. consumer losses to crypto fraud surged more than 40% year over year as of May 2023. According to the agency, the losses in the U.K. surpassed 300 million British pounds ($365 million).
“This has been done to protect our customers and keep their money safe,” the Chase spokesperson stated, adding:
“We’re committed to helping keep our customers’ money safe and secure. 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.”
Chase Bank originally announced its policy changes around crypto in an email to customers on Sept. 26. “We’ve made this decision because fraudsters are increasingly using crypto assets to steal large amounts of money from people,” the bank said.
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Some Chase users on X (formerly Twitter) subsequently reported receiving the email about the policy changes on X. Many expressed outrage, saying it decide to limit the freedom to use crypto under the guise of investor protection.
“We are banning computers because fraudsters use them,” one Bitcoin (BTC) enthusiast wrote, adding: “Back to pen and paper!”
Chase Bank is a retail-focused bank offering fee-free banking via its mobile app. Operating more than 4,600 branches around the world, Chase has reportedly amassed more than 50 million active users. The latest restrictions will only impact around 2% of its total users worldwide, with its U.K. user base reaching 1 million in September 2022.
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Update (Sept. 26, 2:42 pm UTC): A previous version of this article incorrectly referred to Chase Bank as a digital bank.
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