National Australia Bank joins crypto exchange boycott, cites ‘scams’


Another “Big Four” bank in Australia has said it will put blocks on certain cryptocurrency platforms, citing high levels of scams risk in the industry.

National Australia Bank (NAB) on July 17 officially announced a set of new measures to protect customers from fraud as part of its “bank-wide scam strategy.”

Alongside halting “millions in payments” between March and July 2023, NAB will also introduce blocks on “some cryptocurrency platforms” in order to help protect customers from scams.

NAB did not specify the names of cryptocurrency exchanges that are expected to face blocks from the bank. NAB executive for group investigations and fraud Chris Sheehan only mentioned that the new blocks will affect “high-risk” platforms where “scams are more prevalent.”

Sheehan noted:

“These scammers are part of organized, transnational crime groups. Increasingly, we’re seeing them use cryptocurrency platforms to send stolen funds quickly and often overseas.”

According to local reports, Sheehan hinted that NAB’s crypto blocks could affect the Binance crypto exchange. “Our approach is going to be consistent with the rest of the industry,” the executive reportedly said. Over the past few months, other “Big Four” Australian banks, including Westpac and the Commonwealth Bank, have also reportedly been blocking payments to Binance.

NAB and Binance didn’t immediately respond to Cointelegraph’s request to comment. This article will be updated pending new information.

Related: Binance Australia offices reportedly searched by local regulator

In the announcement, NAB continued to reiterate the growing narrative by local banks alleging that nearly 50% of scam funds reported in Australia are linked to crypto.

“More broadly, cryptocurrency scams are one of the fastest-growing security threats, with Australians losing more than $221 million to them last year,” NBA’s statement reads. The authority also argued that 40% of Australians are “extremely willing” for payments to be slower if they were “better protected from scammers.”

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