According to Bloomberg, crypto companies are facing obstacles in obtaining banking services in the United Kingdom. The few banks still willing to work with crypto firms are requesting extensive documentation and transaction monitoring information. These challenges range from having applications rejected, accounts frozen, and overwhelming paperwork, with some crypto companies even complaining to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s government about the situation. This is in contrast to Sunak’s plans to make the UK a global crypto hub. The European Union’s efforts to establish a framework for digital assets are making banks more receptive to crypto firms in other countries, according to Coinbase’s Tom Duff-Gordon.
Venture capital investment in digital asset companies in the UK reportedly dropped 94% to $55 million in 2023, with crypto companies turning to payment service providers to maintain business operations. In March, banks in the country, including HSBC and Nationwide Building Society, banned cryptocurrency purchases via credit cards for retail customers, and the Financial Conduct Authority proposed a set of rules that could subject executives of crypto firms to two years in prison if they fail to meet certain conditions related to promotion. CryptoUK proposed the creation of a “white list” of registered firms to address banks limiting or banning transactions with crypto companies.