Chase Bank, a subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase, has announced that it will impose restrictions on all cryptocurrency-related transactions for its customers in the United Kingdom. Starting from October 16th, customers of Chase Bank in the UK will no longer have the ability to make cryptocurrency transactions using their debit cards or through outgoing bank transfers.
According to a spokesperson for the bank, customers will receive a declined transaction notification if they attempt to make a crypto-related transaction. The decision to enforce these restrictions comes in response to an increase in fraud and scams related to crypto assets. The bank cited data from Britain’s fraud reporting agency, Action Fraud, showing that consumer losses to crypto fraud surged more than 40% year over year as of May 2023, surpassing £300 million ($365 million) in the UK.
“This has been done to protect our customers and keep their money safe,” stated the Chase spokesperson. “We’re committed to helping keep our customers’ money safe and secure. We’ve seen an increase in the number of crypto scams targeting UK 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.”
The bank initially announced these policy changes in an email to customers on September 26th, emphasizing that the decision was made due to fraudsters increasingly using crypto assets to steal large amounts of money from people.
However, some Chase users on social media expressed outrage at the restrictions, accusing the bank of limiting the freedom to use crypto under the guise of investor protection. One Bitcoin enthusiast wrote on Twitter, “We are banning computers because fraudsters use them. Back to pen and paper!”
It is important to note that Chase Bank is a retail-focused bank that offers fee-free banking through its mobile app. With over 4,600 branches worldwide and more than 50 million active users, the latest restrictions will only impact approximately 2% of its total user base globally. In September 2022, the bank’s user base in the UK reached 1 million.
In conclusion, Chase Bank is implementing restrictions on cryptocurrency-related transactions for its customers in the UK, citing concerns over fraud and scams. While the move aims to protect customers and their funds, it has sparked criticism from some users who believe it infringes on their freedom to use cryptocurrencies. With the new policy set to take effect in October, Chase Bank will continue to monitor the evolving landscape of crypto assets and adjust its strategies accordingly to ensure the safety of its customers’ financial assets.