To be able to accept change and even grow with it, is a skill that Is second to none. Life is constantly evolving and if we don’t keep up, we get left behind. This is true in all areas of development, including your banking options and your financials.
Now given who I am, and the industry I work in, I think its only right that I open your eyes to some of the ways in which the financial industry isn’t moving with the times, so you have all the information you need to make informed decisions.
Today I want to talk about banks and cryptocurrency.
Traditionally, banks accept deposits and make loans and derive a profit from the difference in the interest rates paid and charged.
To quote Doug Stanhope “All that stuff, tradition and heritage. It’s dead people’s baggage. Quit carrying it.”
Ever since the innovation of cryptocurrency, the question of whether or not we need traditional banks had been pondered. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that we should all go and close our accounts, just that if you have crypto assets, it is worth knowing that there are many banks that aren’t going to be of much use to you.
Since everything kicked off for Binance late last month, many users of traditional banks received texts and emails saying that they would be restricting all transactions for the user’s safety. Is it right that we are being told where we can and can’t spend our money? I don’t think so, so I have compiled a list of what I am calling “crypto negative banks”. These are banks that are going to be a thorn in your side if you want to trade crypto.
After the Binance fallout, Barclays was the first bank to react. On the 8th of July Barclays users who had previously made payments to Binance received a text stating that “until further notice, we are stopping all transactions from debit and credit cards to Binance”. Keep in mind this was done under the guise of keeping its customers safe. A tough pill to swallow coming from the bank who had to pay $200 million for its role in the LIBOR rigging scandal.
Sounds like the definition of crypto negative to me.
It doesn’t stop with Barclays though, Santander also started blocking transactions to Binance, once again done under the guise of safety, though this time, they cited both the FCA and an apparent rise in crypto fraud. While crypto fraud does unfortunately exist, they made this comment via a tweet where they provided no evidence, no facts and figures, just a baseless statement.
While less severe, NatWest has placed a limit on how much users can transfer to crypto exchanges. This doesn’t mean you can’t use NatWest for anything crypto-related, but I would advise against it as you will be severely limited.
UPDATE: As of yesterday, NatWest is now declining all crypto-based transactions. Guess it didn’t take them too long to follow suit
HSBC didn’t even wait for the Binance FCA announcement, earlier this year they made a statement where they told us there would not process a single crypto transaction, now that certainly isn’t crypto-friendly is it?
One that shocked and surprised me was Starling bank, seeing as they are my personal go-to. I reached out to ask them what their stance was on crypto, optimistic they would be more open than the more mainstream banking titans, but no, I was told that while they see crypto as a fast-developing sector, involvement in cryptocurrency isn’t something they are looking at right now as it falls outside of their risk appetite
So, there it is, the big five, if you want to avoid stress and hassle when you are buying your cryptocurrencies, you might want to think about avoiding Santander, NatWest, HSBC, Starling and Barclays.
But what about crypto-friendly banks? Do they even exist? Well yes actually. Halifax, Metro Bank and First Direct are all banks that you would be ok buying crypto with but if you want to go really crypto-friendly, I recommend one of the following.
These three banks are not only are they crypto-friendly, but I would go as far as to say they are crypto positive. Two of these three banks have banking apps that actually incorporate a crypto exchange. All of your banking and crypto needs are in one handy app, a far cry from having your accounts frozen for daring to invest in an emerging market.
All of this information was correct as of the 22nd of July so if you are reading this down the line, you may want to do some more research, banks are liable to change their policies all of the time, maybe things have got better by the time you are reading this? Hopefully, they haven’t got worse, but if they have, could it be time to go bankless?
It’s an interesting thought, going bankless, I wonder if it can be done… you might want to watch this space.
If you want to get in touch about anything you have ready, then please get in contact with me by connecting on LinkedIn or by heading over to https://www.mynaaccountants.co/