Santander Says Accusations of Coinbase Block are False

John Moore
  • Redditor claims Santander's UK arm is blocking payments to Coinbase in the UK.
  • Santander quickly moves to deny the story.
  • Coinbase UK has recently lost its banking relationship with Barclays and been forced to switch to ClearBank.

After a Reddit thread alleged Santander staff had told the poster that they were no longer dealing with Coinbase in the UK, the Spanish bank has moved quickly to deny the reports.

Yesterday, a post by Redditor u/iCheat69 in the r/bitcoin subreddit caused a stir with its allegation that the UK-based arm of Spanish banking giant Santander was no longer willing to make payments to the UK division of crypto exchange Coinbase. 

"Just got off the phone with a Santander rep in the U.K.," the post began, "who informed me they will no longer be allowing their customers to deposit money to Coinbase." 

The Redditor then went on to explain that the information they were relating had come from the company's 'complaints department', and that they had been told "I should move to an alternative bank if I wish to make the payment." 

The reason allegedly given was the decision was "likely because of an increase in fraud related to Coinbase." 

The thread, which now runs to a considerable length, quickly descended into a pile-on of bank-bashing, and posters venting steam over banks' perceived attitude to Bitcoin and crypto in general. This was, more usefully, interspersed with advice on exactly where the original poster (OP) should take his business.

However, the whole premise of the thread was quickly denied by representatives of the bank. 

According to The Block, when its reporters approached the bank for clarification of its policy on Coinbase, they were told it was "not the case" that there was a block in place.

"We do not block payments to legitimate companies," a spokesperson told the site, although they did admit that "in certain circumstances we will refer payments for additional security checks, where we believe there may be a higher risk of fraud."

It's been an interesting week on the banking front for Coinbase, which lost its account with Barclays earlier in the week. According to insider reports, the London-based global bank stepped back from the much-touted relationship in a bid to reduce its exposure to risk, forcing the San Francisco-based exchange to pair up with U.K. upstart ClearBank.

The situation has impacted the exchange’s British customers, as Barclays connected it to the country’s Faster Payments Scheme (FPS), enabling instant GBP deposits and withdrawals at the exchange. The end of the exchange’s relationship with Barclays apparently disrupted this pipeline, slowing down GBP deposits and withdrawals.

Whether this has played any part in this particular Redditor's issues with Santander is currently unclear.