Australian bank opposes payments to some crypto exchanges.

Australia’s largest bank, Commonwealth Bank (CBA), has announced a temporary delay of certain payments associated with cryptocurrency exchanges, due to concerns over the risk of scams. This decision comes after the United States Securities Regulator (SEC) sued two major global exchanges, blockchain and Binance. Just a few weeks ago, another major Australian bank, Westpac, banned customers from transacting with the crypto exchange Binance.

Commonwealth Bank Combat Scams, Prioritizing Customer Protection

CBA has disclosed its intention to decline or place a 24-hour hold on “certain payments to crypto exchanges” on June 8. The bank has not yet specified which crypto exchanges or payment types would be impacted by these new measures. According to a statement, CBA claimed that the measures they’ve introduced safeguard their clients from scams associated with making payments to crypto exchanges. The bank added that customers sending funds to crypto exchanges to purchase cryptocurrencies will have a monthly limit of AUD 10,000 ($6,650).

James Roberts, the general manager of CBA’s fraud management services, said that scammers globally are capitalizing on the trend of increasing consumer interest in cryptocurrencies and masquerading as legitimate investment opportunities or diverting funds into cryptocurrency exchanges. He further emphasized that the limits on outbound payments to crypto exchanges and the 24-hour holds will help fight the number of scams and money lost by customers. CBA said continual evaluation and monitoring would be conducted to assess the impacts of these scam response measures.

This recent security measure marks a significant reversal from its previous plans. Notably, in November 2021, the bank introduced crypto trading services through its CommBank app, holding millions of users. During that period, the bank’s CEO, Matt Comyn, acknowledged the associated risks but emphasized the greater risks of not participating. He stated that “The sector and the technology [isn’t] going away anytime soon.”

Uncertain Future for Crypto Exchange Binance Australia Services Following De-banking

Binance users in Australia now face limited options for purchasing cryptocurrencies amid the ongoing global de-banking of crypto businesses. According to Binance, starting from 5:00 pm local time on June 1, bank transfers for fiat on-ramps and off-ramps have been suspended in Australia, including trading for Australian dollar (AU$) pairs. The recent suspension of deposits and withdrawals is connected to previous events that have affected Binance in Australia.

In February, Binance’s local derivatives division informed users that specific positions and accounts would be closed for those who did not meet the criteria to be classified as wholesale investors. To qualify as a wholesale investor in Australia, one must possess net assets of at least $2.5 million or have an annual gross income of at least $250,000. After Binance closed non-compliant accounts, local regulators initiated a “targeted review” of the exchange’s local derivatives operations. On April 6, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) revoked the Binance Australian Derivatives license.

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