Chase UK, a JPMorgan Subsidiary, Implements Restrictions on Crypto Transactions

Chase Bank, a subsidiary of the prominent financial services firm JPMorgan Chase, has announced its decision to impose restrictions on cryptocurrency-related transactions for its customers in the United Kingdom.

Effective from October 16, customers of Chase Bank in the UK will no longer have the ability to conduct cryptocurrency transactions using their debit cards or through outgoing bank transfers, as confirmed by a spokesperson who shared this information on September 26.

In the event of an attempt to initiate a crypto-related transaction, customers will receive a notification indicating that the transaction has been declined, according to a statement issued by the bank.

The spokesperson for Chase cited the primary reason behind these new restrictions as the escalating incidents of fraud and scams associated with cryptocurrency assets. Referring to data from Britain’s fraud reporting agency, Action Fraud, the spokesperson highlighted a staggering year-over-year increase of over 40% in consumer losses related to crypto fraud as of May 2023 in the UK. The reported losses in the UK amounted to more than £300 million (approximately $365 million).

Chase’s spokesperson emphasized the bank’s commitment to safeguarding its customers and their financial assets, stating:

“We’re dedicated to ensuring the safety and security of our customers’ funds. We have observed a surge in crypto scams targeting consumers in the UK, and as a protective measure, we have chosen to prohibit the purchase of crypto assets via a Chase debit card or the transfer of funds to a crypto platform from a Chase account.”

Chase Bank originally communicated these policy adjustments regarding cryptocurrency through an email sent to its customers on September 26. In the email, the bank explained its rationale, stating that fraudsters are increasingly exploiting cryptocurrency assets as a means to orchestrate large-scale financial theft.

Following the dissemination of this email, some Chase users on X (formerly Twitter) expressed their reactions to the policy changes. Many users voiced their displeasure, contending that the bank’s move to limit the use of cryptocurrency appeared to be masquerading as an initiative to protect investors.

“We are banning computers because fraudsters use them,” one Bitcoin enthusiast humorously remarked, adding, “Back to pen and paper!”

Chase Bank, known for its retail-oriented banking services and fee-free banking options through its mobile app, boasts a vast network comprising over 4,600 branches across the globe. With more than 50 million active users, the recent restrictions will impact approximately 2% of its global user base. In September 2022, the bank’s UK user base had reached the milestone of 1 million users.

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