Australian big four bank, Westpac, has prohibited its customers from conducting transactions with Binance, as part of its measures to protect against scams. The decision comes amid increased pressure on the cryptocurrency exchange’s operations in the country. Westpac stated that it was blocking various cryptocurrency exchanges as part of a trial, and its data found that investment frauds accounted for about half of all such losses, with a third of all scam payments being directly transferred to cryptocurrency exchanges.
Crackdown on Scams
Although Binance was not mentioned directly, it’s understood that its Australian arm has been affected by the ban. Commenting on the move, Scott Collary, Westpac’s group executive of customer services and technology expressed that “digital exchanges have a legitimate role to play in the financial ecosystem. But, since the rise of digital currency, we’ve noticed that scammers are increasingly using overseas exchanges.” Collary added that the trial of Westpac’s new security measures would improve the protection of customers from scams and could save the bank millions lost to scammers. The ban on crypto exchanges will be rolled out as a phased trial in the coming weeks.
Binance Australia being excluded by a notable Australian payments service company is yet another setback for the cryptocurrency exchange, which has already been facing intense regulatory scrutiny in the United States.
Westpac’s announcement came on the same day that Binance Australia revealed that it can no longer facilitate Australian Dollar bank transfers through PayID, a popular instant payment method. The cryptocurrency exchange blamed its third-party payment service provider for the issue and says it’s looking for another option.
Binance’s Australian Setback
Last month, Binance declared that it was closing down Binance Australia Derivatives business, citing recent involvement with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). ASIC had revoked the Australian financial services license held by Oztures Trading Pty Ltd, trading as Binance Australia Derivatives, in response to a request from Binance. Before the license cancellation, ASIC had also discovered that Binance had wrongly classified hundreds of retail customers as wholesale investors, which led the financial regulator to conduct a targeted review of the company.