Virgin Money joins Lloyds in banning customers from buying Bitcoins on their credit cards
Virgin Money has joined Lloyds Banking Group in banning customers from buying Bitcoin and other digital currencies with their credit cards.
Virgin Money’s spokesperson said: “Following a review of our policies, I can confirm customers will no longer be able to use their Virgin Money credit card to purchase crypto-currencies.”
Like Lloyds, Virgin’s ban only applies to its credit cards, not debit cards. The value of Bitcoin fell a further 10.86% to $7,297.65 on Monday.
Like Lloyds, Virgin Money is concerned about customers running up large debts following a sharp fall in the value of digital currencies.
Over the weekend, several of the biggest issuers of credit cards in the US also banned customers from using their cards to buy digital currency.
The list of financial firms included Bank of America, Citigroup, JP Morgan, Capital One and Discover.
Lloyds’ ban, starting on Monday, applies to its eight million credit card customers across Lloyds Bank, Bank of Scotland, Halifax and MBNA.
Lloyds said it would not be contacting its customers either digitally or through the post to inform customers about the change to its credit card policy. Customers will only be informed should they query a blocked crypto-currency credit card transaction.
Explaining the ban, a Lloyds spokeswoman said: “We continually review our products and procedures and this is part of that.”
The BBC asked other major banks about following Lloyds’ move, but none had so far responded. The banking trade organisation UK Finance said it had not released any guidance on the matter.
Gillian Guy, the chief executive of Citizens Advice, welcomed the announcement by Lloyds, saying it “shows they recognise the risks of credit card customers running up debt they can’t afford,” she said.
Barclays told the BBC that at present, UK customers are able to use both their Barclays debit cards and Barclaycard credit cards to purchase crypto-currencies.
“We take precautions to assess affordability before extending credit, flag and prevent any suspicious transactions and also closely monitor credit risk,” a spokeswoman said.