Australia’s largest bank to decline ‘certain’ crypto payments

Australia’s largest bank to decline ‘certain’ crypto payments

  • Australia’s CBA to decline or temporarily hold certain payments to crypto exchanges.
  • The bank cited crypto scams as the reason behind its action.

Australia’s Commonwealth Bank (CBA) has announced that it will decline or temporarily hold certain payments to crypto exchanges. The bank cited the risk of scammers for its action.

The CBA said on 8 June that it would decline or put a 24-hour hold on such payments. The bank did not specify which exchanges or payment types would be impacted by the new directive.

The bank also said that a monthly limit of $10,000 AUD ($6,650) on clients sending payments to crypto exchanges to purchase cryptocurrency would be implemented “in the coming months.”

Scammers across the world are taking advantage of the increased interest in cryptocurrencies, according to James Roberts, general manager of CBA’s fraud management services.

These scams are frequently disguised as legitimate investment opportunities, diverting user funds to crypto exchanges. The bank’s decision to impose limits is intended to protect its clients from falling victim to such fraudulent operations.

The bank also said that the order would be “subject to ongoing review,” and that it would keep monitoring the impact of its order. The bank seeks to limit the risks related to crypto transactions and maintain the security of its customers’ assets by implementing these procedures.

Last month, another major Australian bank, Westpac, barred its users from transacting with the crypto exchange Binance.

Earlier this week, two major global exchanges, Binance and Coinbase, were charged with lawsuits by the American securities regulator, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Australians lost millions to crypto frauds in 2022

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the national competition regulator, published a report in April that revealed how nearly 4,000 Australians reportedly lost their funds to scammers in 2022 while using Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a payment method.

These crypto scams resulted in fraudulent criminals obtaining as much as $148.4 million (AUD 221.3 million) in 2022.

Australians lost funds worth $56.3 million (AUD 84 million) in 2021 and $20.5 million (AUD 26.5 million) in 2020, owing to crypto scams.

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