Commonwealth Bank, Australia’s largest bank, will decline and limit certain payments to crypto exchanges.
The bank said, in a blog post, that it is introducing the measure to help protect customers from scam risks. The bank will decline or hold, for 24 hours, payments to crypto exchanges and then in the coming months it will also introduce a $10,000 Australian dollar ($6,700) limit in customer payments to crypto exchanges per calendar month.
The restrictions, which were announced on Thursday, come in the same week that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced enforcement action against crypto exchanges Binance and Coinbase.
“With the incidences of scams increasing and in many cases customers suffering significant losses from being scammed, the introduction of 24-hour holds, declines and limits on outbound payments to cryptocurrency exchanges will help reduce both the number of scams and the amount of money lost by customers,” said James Roberts, Commonwealth Bank’s general manager of group fraud management services.
Australia isn’t the first country to implement such measures. Many banks in the U.K. do not allow individuals to buy and sell crypto due to consumer safety concerns.
However, Commonwealth Bank embraced crypto in 2021 announcing that it would be the first bank in Australia to offer customers the ability to buy, sell and hold crypto assets, directly through the CommBank app.
“Customers have expressed concern regarding some of the crypto services in the market today, including the friction of using third party exchanges, the risk of fraud, and the lack of trust in some new providers,” said Matt Comyn, Commonwealth Bank’s CEO, at the time of the launch. “This is why we see this as an opportunity to bring a trusted and secure experience for our customers.
Commonwealth Bank had partnered with Gemini and Chainalysis for the service and planned to offer 10 crypto assets in the app including bitcoin, ether, bitcoin cash, and litecoin.
The Guardian Australia reported in 2022 that the bank had paused the rollout of its app following the collapse of the TerraLuna ecosystem.