Barclays in U.S. set to join cryptocurrency credit card ban: report

The logo of Barclays bank is seen on glass lamps outside of a branch of the bank in the City of London financial district in London
The logo of Barclays bank is seen on glass lamps outside of a branch of the bank in the City of London financial district in London September 4, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville

February 9, 2018

LONDON (Reuters) – Barclays is likely to follow other major lenders in the United States in stopping customers from buying Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies with its credit cards, according to an interview with a senior executive at its credit card unit.

“We are making the decision that we will likely no[t] allow cryptocurrency purchases on the card,” Paul Wilmore, managing director at Barclaycard, told Bank Innovation blog.

A spokeswoman for Barclays in London said that the bank is reviewing its policy on a country-by-country basis and that it had not yet changed its policy.

Barclaycard is one of the biggest credit card providers in both Britain and the U.S. that is yet to formally announce a ban on card purchases of digital currencies.

Lloyds Banking Group Plc, which issues just over a quarter of all credit cards in Britain, and Virgin Money announced such a ban last week, following the lead of JP Morgan Chase & Co and Citigroup.

The moves are aimed at protecting customers from running up huge debts from buying virtual currencies on credit, if their values were to plummet, a Lloyds spokeswoman said last week.

(Reporting by Lawrence White; editing by Alexander Smith)