If you reside in the UK, you might have heard about the new ban placed on trading cryptocurrencies in different banks across the UK. This ban comes into place after the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) announcement of banning Finance Market Ltd from operating in the UK. So, many banks followed suit. Read the article to know if Halifax is also on the list or not, and how it affects your financial transactions. Let’s know Does Halifax Accept Bitcoin ?
The parent company of Halifax, Lloyds Banking Group has banned the use of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and also the transfer of funds from a bank account to a cryptocurrency trading account. So the ban extends to Halifax accounts as well.
An Overview Of Halifax – A Banking Company
UK-based banking company Halifax is a trading division of the Bank of Scotland, a subsidiary of Lloyds Banking Group. It was founded in 1853 as a building society and continued to grow as such till 1997 after which it demutualized. After Lloyd Group’s acquisition, Halifax is one of the larger banks in the UK with billions of GBP assets. This banking company offers consumers a wide range of products and services.
In addition to traditional banking products, like mortgages, credit cards, debit cards, loans, investments, insurance policies, and deposits, Halifax also operates the Co-Operative Bank which provides financial services to small businesses. Furthermore, it offers insurance, and wealth management products through its associate banks.
Halifax Policy Regarding Bitcoin
The banking company, Halifax restricts cryptocurrency assets like Bitcoin, Litecoin, etc. following its parent company’s ban over them as they are not considered financial instruments by FCA, and are claimed not to be legal tenders in the UK. So, you cannot use Bitcoin on their online banking platform or at one of Halifax bank branches.
Additionally, Halifax cannot offer custodial services for digital assets like cryptocurrency wallets and transactions to cryptocurrency exchange apps like Coinbase, Kucoin, Kraken, Binance, etc. There is no official government stance on the legality of cryptocurrency but as such, users should be aware of the risks associated with dealing with bitcoin and other digital currencies.
Although it is not an all-out ban. You can transact between Halifax and your cryptocurrency exchange account using FCA-regulated exchange apps. And you can indirectly transact between your trading account and Halifax at a nominal fee. For example, one such exchange app changed Halifax 0.5% of the deposit, compared to Coinbases 2.99%. And, this charge rate is the same for all Halifax credit and debit card deposits and withdrawals.
Why Doesn’t Halifax Accept Bitcoin?
Halifax doesn’t accept Bitcoin because they do not support digital asset infrastructures like cryptocurrency wallets and other custodial services. This is a move by the British bank sector to eradicate cyber-crime by preventing customers from transferring money to cryptocurrency exchange platforms. As crypto owners remain anonymous during transactions, fraudsters are using this facility to convert victims’ money to untraceable cryptocurrency using crypto exchanges.
Uk’s finance regulatory body FCA has reported that a lot of UK customers have lost a combined total of £60 million in recent years due to investment scams on social media. Additionally, banks claim that trading platforms don’t have proper security checks set in place against laundering cases.
After FCA started banning crypto exchange apps, UK banks started preventing their customers from using them as well. And this prevention extends to Halifax.
How To Buy Bitcoin From a Halifax Account?
Although Halifax and a couple of other UK banks prohibit their customers from using a bank account for crypto exchange it is not completely banned. There is a way around it. Although FCA warned that it’d be restricting Binance, a crypto exchange, from operating in the UK, other crypto traders are legal to transact. One of them is eToro UK.
This licensed platform allows you an easy way to transfer your GBP or Euros from your Halifax bank account to its wallet from where you can buy and trade cryptos. To transfer traditional currency from your Halifax account to eToro, you have to follow these steps
- Create an eToro account and authenticate it with your IDs.
- Click on the ‘Deposit Funds’ button appearing at the bottom of your screen.
- Select Euro or GBP as per your currency preference and ‘Bank Transfer as your payment method and continue.
- Now, log in to your Halifax account and transfer funds to the correct deposit address.
- This will complete the uploading of the fund to your eToro account.
- Finally, you can surf through eToro to buy, sell, or trade your money for cryptocurrency.
It doesn’t accept Bitcoin or any other digital currency, mainly due to FCA regulations and keeping its customers’ cyber safety. This is a newly placed rule and is subject to changes in the future as the popularity of cryptocurrencies is increasing. Once the exchange platforms start practicing more rigorous security checks, Halifax is likely to be opening its doors for crypto again.
- Which banks in the UK still allow Bitcoin?
Two banks in the Uk that still accept Bitcoin are Barclays and Monzo.
- Does Halifax operate international transactions?
Halifax does not operate internationally as of now.
- What are the advantages of using Bitcoin over traditional currencies?
Bitcoin is decentralized, is not subject to inflationary pressures like fiat currencies, and offers a high level of security compared with other forms of payment systems
- Does Natwest accept Bitcoin?
Natwest prohibits the usage of Bitcoin in the business account and the usage of them in personal accounts is currently under review.