Crypto-Friendly Banks in the UK
Crypto-friendly banks refer to traditional banks and financial institutions that allow their customers to freely use their bank accounts or bank cards to trade crypto on exchanges, as well as cash-out funds from their cryptocurrency investments. Any bank that does otherwise is not crypto-friendly.
In the UK banking industry, there have been many cases of banks preventing their customers from using their debit/credit cards to purchase digital coins. Does this imply that UK banks are not crypto-friendly? Let’s find out!
Yes, but only a few banks in the UK accept cryptocurrency. Still, they all decline payments to suspicious crypto exchanges and merchants to protect their customers from fraudsters. Besides, UK banks do not accept crypto as a currency but as an asset for investments.
The best crypto-friendly banks in the UK include Nationwide, Barclays Bank, The Royal Bank of Scotland, and The Co-operative Bank.
The best crypto-friendly neobanks are Wirex, Nuri, Paysera, Revolut, Ibandirect, Monzo, Monolith, and MuchBetter.
Yes. The British government recently asked all crypto exchanges operating in the UK to be registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) before the end of March 2022 or face forceful closure. The FCA ensures that financial institutions in the UK comply with anti-money laundering standards.
We can’t tell. It is still unclear whether fiat money will be replaced with cryptocurrency someday.
Is Crypto Legal in the UK?
Yes, it is legal to own and trade cryptocurrencies in the United Kingdom. What is more, the government recently published a plan that will help the UK become a global crypto-asset technology centre. However, crypto is not officially regarded as a “currency” or legal tender but as a kind of “property asset” (crypto-asset) for now.
Can You Use Cryptocurrencies in the UK?
The use of cryptocurrencies is allowed in the UK. In June 2021, the FCA revealed that the number of adults holding crypto-assets in Britain increased from 1.9 million in 2020 to 2.3 million in 2021. But the main challenge here is that it is rarely accepted as a method of payment in many shops and banks. To the majority of them, crypto is more of an investment product – one of the ways to grow your money.
Why Should Your Banks be Crypto-friendly?
Going by the pace of development of crypto today, we cannot but accept the fact that Bitcoin and other tokens have a major role to play in the future of the global financial industry. Therefore, every future-minded bank should demonstrate a welcoming attitude towards decentralised digital currencies.
In addition, the new technology for managing wealth is blockchain. Banks that do not want to be overthrown by AI robots should start implementing blockchain technology. It has a high prospect of success in innovative banking. Blockchain can help banks reduce costs through its peer-to-peer data distribution and non-reliance on intermediaries, set up stronger security against cyber-attacks, and speed up payments and transfers.
Similarly, forward-looking individuals or groups should consider creating accounts with crypto-friendly traditional banks, neobanks, and digital payment solutions. These challenger banks and financial services providers can use their advanced technological tools to streamline your fiat and crypto payments, transfers, currency conversions, borrowing, lending, and so on.
What Can You Do with Crypto in the UK?
In the UK, residents cannot spend cryptocurrencies in major high street shops yet. Nevertheless, you can find a few businesses that accept crypto payments for goods and services. For example, you can use crypto to make payments at Diadem Jewellery, Shopify, and Amazon.
Another profitable way to use your crypto in the UK is to invest it. You can buy and sell cryptocurrencies on UK-registered exchanges.
You can also use cryptocurrency to store funds. Moreover, it is easy to withdraw it in cash or to a debit card of one of the payment systems. We will tell you about these payment systems below.
Best Crypto-friendly Banks in the UK
Realistically speaking, most major banks in the United Kingdom do not support direct crypto transactions on their platforms. Nevertheless, the following is a list of the best crypto-friendly banks for users of cryptocurrencies in the United Kingdom:
Royal Bank of Scotland
The Royal Bank of Scotland is one of the biggest financial institutions in the banking industry. It does not open crypto accounts for its customers. Instead, it allows them to use their bank cards to buy and sell crypto with some merchants. However, the Royal Bank of Scotland restricts (declines) payments to fraudulent exchanges. In that way, it protects you and your money.
Customers of Barclays Bank can make and receive payments to and from crypto exchanges using their credit and debit cards. But Barclays Bank, like the Royal Bank of Scotland, declines all transactions with unregulated and deceitful crypto exchanges.
Nationwide is more than a UK bank. It is a “building society” where mutual support is pivotal. It is FCA-regulated and authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority. As regards crypto, it allows its customers to use their bank cards to trade crypto. But for some reasons that include the prevention of crypto scams, it controls the payments that account holders make to exchanges when using their bank cards.
The Co-operative Bank
This is one of the leading UK-based banks. Although it does not have any official statement for or against crypto, it places a high level of regulation on the transactions that its account holders can make to crypto exchanges.
Best Crypto-friendly Payment Solutions
You can outsmart your non-crypto-friendly banks in the UK by using some neobanks and electronic payment solutions providers. For crypto-friendly payments in and beyond the UK, here are the best alternatives to conventional banks:
Gain access to Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin, Ada, and a huge range of other stablecoins with Wirex. Through its innovative app, this FCA-licensed digital money solutions provider lets you conveniently trade cryptocurrencies. You can transfer crypto to and from your Wirex account free of charge. It also gives you access to rates that used to be reserved for billionaires and banks: the exclusive over-the-counter rates on major crypto exchanges.
Nuri brings a new reality to banking. You can use the app to invest in cryptocurrencies and earn up to 5% annual interest. However, you will have to create a German bank account to make this investment. Not to worry, the account opening process is free and easy.
Paysera (with Paxful)
Paysera provides solutions to your online banking, card processing, money transfer, and currency exchange needs. It offers many features that benefit its users. You can use Paysera Money Transfer to buy Bitcoin on Paxful. If interested, find out how Paxful makes working with crypto safe and easy on our website.
Revolut provides a range of technologically driven banking services. You can use the app to invest in Bitcoin and more than 30 other tokens. It allows you to trade with as small as US$1. It also sends its users real-time notifications about price changes on the market.
Ibandirect is a payment platform and banking app with which people can own Bitcoin wallets for buying and selling crypto, open IBAN bank accounts, make SEPA transfers, and carry out other domestic and international banking transactions. Using its Visa prepaid card, you can cash out crypto and make purchases anytime.
Many individuals and businesses trust the Monzo app for the management of their fiat money and cryptocurrencies. They support a range of crypto exchanges. You can buy and sell cryptocurrencies while operating your personal bank accounts with this app.
When it comes to buying, selling, spending, or holding tokens, Monolith is a convenient and safe option to try. It lets you own a Visa or Mastercard card, an app, and an Ethereum wallet. You can use any of them to buy, store, or spend your tokens.
Instead of making a direct bank transfer, use MuchBetter when playing your favourite games at any gaming site that accepts it as a payment option. If you are not a gamer, this app is an all-in-one alternative to conventional banks; so, you can use it for online transfers and payments to merchants around the world. The pleasure of using this FCA-licensed e-wallet comes from its ease of handling fiat money and cryptocurrencies. Moreover, MuchBetter is cheaper to use when compared to many other safe and secure e-wallets.
Since many UK banks and stores do not accept cryptocurrency for deposits or payments presently, crypto-asset owners in the UK should find the few that welcome it and do business with them. Besides, you can use crypto-friendly neobanks like Revolut and e-wallets like MuchBetter to buy and sell crypto. Therefore, do not allow yourself to be denied access to cryptocurrency trading anymore. AskWallet has shown you the way forward in this article.