The Chancellor of the Exchequer (finance minister) Jeremy Hunt has agreed for his department officials to investigate the matter after Lisa Cameron MP, the chair of the Crypto and Digital Assets All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) questioned him on how difficult it is for licensed companies to open bank accounts.
Hunt responded positively, adding that the Economic Secretary of the Treasury, Bim Afolami, should meet with the APPG to discuss progress.
“The U.K., London in particular, has become the global crypto hub, but to make sure the market really can take off in the way that was intended responsibly, we need to regulate it, which is why we’ve introduced regulations for stablecoins, for promotion of crypto services,” stated Hunt.
Banks cold on crypto payments
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak previously set out a strategy to turn the UK into a crypto hub during his reign as finance minister.
Then, earlier this year, the UK’s new cryptocurrency guidelines were revealed, which introduced legislation to be enacted in early 2024 to have crypto and stablecoins recognized as regulated financial activities.
Despite the new regulated status for crypto in the UK, the banks have remained cold on digital currency, leading to the issues the sector is currently experiencing.
Back in February this year, Alison Rose, chief executive officer of NatWest, told a House of Commons Treasury committee hearing her banking group bank was “blocking retail and wealth customers from transferring into crypto assets because of the volatility and the stability of the platform,” while also citing concerns of fraud.
Further developments are likely, at the behest of the UK government, in an emerging, evolving market.