Looking for crypto-friendly UK banks, or wondering whether your bank will close your account? Read on…
Most of the people we speak to have had no issues using their bank account to send money to sites like Coinbase or CEX.io; despite a few localised problems such as Coinbase not accepting deposits from Nationwide.
The small amount of people we hear from, and no about, that have experienced problems have often fallen into one of the following categories:
- Moving large amounts of money. Obviously, this depends on your historic balance, but generally movements of 5-figure+ sums of money is going to trigger money laundering flags, regardless of whether it’s related to cryptocurrency.
- (Appearing to be) Running a business related to cryptocurrency. UK crypto-based companies have had to bank abroad, due to UK banks broadly being unwilling to host them. Importantly, your account may also be suspended or transactions blocked if you appear to be operating a crypto-related business: this could include multiple transactions related to LocalBitcoins, for example. This has even happened to customers of Fidor Bank, which is one of the most crypto-friendly in the UK.
- Day traders: If you’re day trading and are moving money in-and-out of your account frequently, your bank may require you to open a business account instead.
If you’re not doing either of those things, you should be okay.
If you’re looking for an explicitly crypto-friendly bank, you could try Fidor Bank, an online-only offering. You can also use services such as Revolut as a middle-man for your crypto-related transaction.
Credit Card Purchases
The following list shows which banks allow you to buy cryptocurrencies using credit:
Barclays debit and credit cards can be used to purchase cryptos.
Capital One: Banned
Capital One declines credit card purchases of cryptocurrency.
You may use your HSBC debit or credit card to purchase cryptos.
Lloyds Bank: Banned
Credit card transactions involving the purchase of cryptocurrency are not allowed by Lloyds.
Natwest is owned by Royal Bank of Scotland, and as such its position on crypto transactions is the same.
Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS): Allowed
You may use your Royal Bank of Scotland credit card to make crypto purchases.
Santander allows its credit card holders to purchase cryptos.
Unlike Lloyds, TSB allows customers to use their credit cards to purchase crypto.
Virgin Money: Banned
In early 2018 Virgin Money banned credit card purchases of cryptocurrency.
For people looking to sell cryptocurrencies using services like LocalBitcoins: be aware that even if your bank claims to allow you to buy and sell cryptocurrencies, multiple selling transactions on such sites may flag up your account as being used for business purposes. This has been the case even with Fidor, one of the more crypto-friendly UK banks.
Note: Due to the emerging nature of the cryptocurrency space, banks’ positions toward digital currencies are prone to change. We recommend you bookmark this page, or sign up to our mailing list to receive major updates.