Major British retail banking giant Lloyds is blocking its credit card users from buying cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. Customers with debit cards will, of course, remain unaffected.
First reported by the Telegraph, Llyods Banking Group will, starting today, bar its 9 million credit card customers from buying bitcoin and other crypotocurrencies amid fears of future unpaid debts at a time when cryptocurrency prices are on the slide. The ban, which will make Llyods the first bank in the UK to stop credit card purchasing of cryptocurrencies, is to extend to its subsidiary banks including Halifax, Bank of Scotland and MBNA.
A spokesperson for Llyods, one of Britain’s ‘big four’ banks, added:
“Across Lloyds Bank, Bank of Scotland, Halifax and MBNA, we do not accept credit card transactions involving the purchase of cryptocurrencies.”
According to the report, the bank will set up a ‘blacklist’ that will flag up sellers of cryptocurrencies to keep customers from purchases. The move, according to the Lloyds spokesperson, was to “protect customers” from unaffordable losses. The report further confirms that the ban will not extend to debit card customers of the banks, who will be able to continue making cryptocurrency purchases with their bank accounts.
Elsewhere, the BBC is reporting that Lloyds will not issue a notice to its 9 million credit card customers of its new policy. Instead, customers will be informed of the block when attempting a cryptocurrency purchase through their credit cards. Further, the Lloyds spokesperson told the BBC that the bank is continually reviewing its products and procedures, the result of which sees the shift in policy toward enforcing a crypto purchase ban using credit cards.
The UK banking group’s new policy comes within days of similar moves by Wall Street banking giants JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America who also barred customers from purchasing bitcoin using credit cards over the weekend.
Meanwhile, bitcoin price is currently trading at under $8,000, an 80-day low and down over 65% from its all-time high near $20,000 in December.
For a real-time bitcoin price chart, click here.
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