British bank bans purchase of cryptocurrencies via credit card, following US banks

The British Lloyds Banking Group, which includes several banks, is blocking purchases of cryptocurrencies via credit card. In doing so, the bank follows similar decisions by American banks.

A spokesperson for the banking group told The Guardian: “Lloyds Bank, Bank of Scotland, Halifax and MBNA do not accept transactions where cryptocurrency is purchased with a credit card.” According to the newspaper, it is the first British bank to take such measures. According to information from The Telegraph, the ban will come into effect on Monday and the bank will operate a blacklist of sellers. It is unclear whether this is a temporary ban.

Over the weekend, US banks such as JPMorgan Chase, the Bank of America and Citigroup took similar steps, Bloomberg reported. A JPMorgan spokesperson told the news agency it would not accept the risk associated with the transactions. The ban went into effect on Saturday. Bank of America has been blocking credit card purchases on major cryptocurrency exchanges for personal and business credit cards since Friday.

The news agency writes that banks run a risk if customers cannot repay their purchase. For example, the value of bitcoin has been erratic in recent times. In mid-December, the price reached the level of around USD 20,000, but since then it has fallen with intermediate peaks to around USD 8,000, or about EUR 6400.

Bitcoin price as of November 6, 2017, according to Coinmarketcap