Barclays suspends UK card payments to Binance as crackdown continues

Karthik Subramanian

Barclays has suspended all card payments from the UK, both debit and debit card payments, to the major crypto exchange Binance as it cites the announcement made by the Financial Conduct Authority regarding Binance operations in the UK.

We had earlier reported that Binance was not allowed to operate in the UK, as the FCA said that neither Binance nor any of its associated entities hold any sort of license to carry out crypto operations in the UK. The UK had also banned crypto derivatives products and a large part of Binance’s business revolves around futures and options trading in crypto.

Binance had acquired BML in May 2020 but it has not followed up with any action to use its regulatory permissions nor formally launch its UK operations as yet. It is not yet clear why it has chosen not to do so but it could be related to the various regulatory conditions that it has to meet to begin its operations in the UK.

Barclays has chosen to abide by the decision of the FCA and has hence sent a message to its customers announcing the suspension of deposits via the UK credit and debit cards. The bank also said that withdrawals continue to be permitted as it does not want to put the client funds at risk following the warning from the FCA.

Recently, Natwest had also suspended its payments services for a specific set of crypto firms while Santander is also reported to be mulling similar measures. The crypto market in the UK continues to be murky as there is still not much clarity on what is allowed and what isn’t and it is also not sure which way the regulators would choose to go in the short and long term. Different countries have been taking different stances about the crypto ecosystem and the situation continues to be fluid in many countries.

But many of the crypto exchanges and firms have taken these setbacks in their stride and continue to build for the ecosystem while regulators in different countries continue to mull their various options and see how this can be handled in the best manner possible with the introduction of digital currency continuing to be a priority for many banks while at the same time controlling money laundering is also something that the regulators need to take care of. It is this combination of 2 extremes that seems to be the challenge for all regulators.

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