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Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 31743
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I have a personal account with Starling Bank. They are

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I have a personal account with Starling Bank. They are blocking me buying crypto currency. When I phoned to see what the problem is they say they set limits on crypto purchases but are not allowed to tell me what that is. I have tried to buy £2000 down to £250 and can’t. Surely they cannot dictate what I buy and how much I can spend?
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Scotland.
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: I’ve used their ‘chat’/help line and spoke to an assistant on the phone this morning. I’ve lodged a complaint but it might be 3 days before I hear from them.
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: I don’t think so.

Hello and thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 15 years’ experience. Please be aware that although I will endeavour to reply to you promptly, I am also in full time private practice and so I may not be available to respond immediately and it may also take me a few minutes to prepare a reply. The site will notify you as soon as I respond. I look forward to working with you to answer your question fully.

May I confirm if you have considered an alternative payment method such as using a Paypal account or credit card to deposit funds please?

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
No I haven’t. I should be able to access my money using my card. I have already purchased £1000 worth yesterday. I see you are an English lawyer, Scots law could be different?!
Customer: replied 13 days ago.
I don’t wish to call you.
Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Are you still there?

thank you. Unfortunately, it is increasingly common for banks to restrict or even in many cases entirely ban payments involving crypto currency. for example, it is my understanding that HSBC refused to process crypto currency payments at all as does Lloyds banking group. Starling was reported to have suspended payments to crypto platforms between 19th May and 22nd of June last year and that although they have now lifted the blanket ban, they still impose variable restrictions based on an algorithm and it would not be at all surprising that the bank would refuse to disclose how they make determinations in regards ***** ***** such transactions.

It is well within the bank's right to restrict this type of transaction based on the terms and conditions of banking that you agree when applying for an account with a bank. The rationale for the bank's behaviour in this respect is that such transactions are at high risk of both fraud and loss and banks can be and are found liable in many cases to customers who suffer loss as a consequence of such transactions where customer can show that the bank failed to adequately take steps to prevent the customer from making such a highly risky transaction. as a result, many banks are taking and have taken the decision to simply completely ban or limit such transactions entirely.

Where this is the case, which is increasingly the case as above with many of the main banks, it will be necessary to find an alternative method of payment and whilst of course you can raise a complaint in relation to the bank, it is difficult to see how such a complaint could be upheld as the banks act in this respect in accordance with the banking terms and conditions you agree prior to opening the account.

as noted above, PayPal offer a service now I believe whereby you can purchase crypto currency assets which you may be able to consider alongside other means of alternative payment

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Okay Joshua. Thank you for that. I will try using PayPal. What is infuriating is Starling are not saying that, they are saying they have set limits but won’t tell me what those limits are!

I understand that. As above, it seems that unlike some banks which have simply banned payment altogether, starlings approach is algorithm based whereby they say that they monitor and scrutinise such transactions and in those circumstances, it is unlikely they will disclose how they do so as algorithms such as this are proprietary which the guy closely to reduce risk of fraud

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
That’s all fine. But they’re staff should be able to explain that but not one out of three did. At least I’d know.

that point seems reasonable. if you consider it worth making a complaint on that narrow point, then of course I can see that such a complaint could potentially be accepted but I cannot see that would result in any substantive compensation being offered so whether it would be worth your while making such a complaint in and of itself, will ultimately be a matter for you

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
No worries. Thanks.

I'm glad the above answers all your questions for now. If you have any follow up questions please revert to me.

I hope I was able to answer your question. If you would like to ask me another question in the future, you can add me as a favourite Expert. You'll have the option to do that on your "My Questions" page if you choose to rate our interaction or you can request me by name if you wish. Thank you again for visiting JustAnswer and see you again in the future I hope.

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