Bank blocks transactions involving Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, citing the risks of the digital currency.
The move by the UK-based Royal Bank of Scotland is the latest in a series of recent bank decisions that have been met with criticism from some quarters.
A report released Wednesday by the Committee on Banking and Currency (CBC) on Bitcoin, a virtual currency that uses cryptography to keep track of transactions, found that bitcoin transactions with “over $10,000” were banned on Tuesday by the RBS, Barclays, Lloyds and RBS Group.
The report, released by the committee after a public hearing, did not specify the types of transactions prohibited or the identities of the people who are currently banned from using the currency.
The CBC report cited three separate cases that highlighted the risks posed by the digital currencies and the potential for money laundering and terrorist financing.
The first was that of British-based financial adviser Matthew Smith, who had used bitcoin to purchase property in Dubai.
Smith was banned from the country for two years, while a separate case in London resulted in a seven-month prison sentence for an alleged terrorist financier who was convicted of running a criminal enterprise in Dubai, according to the CBC.
The second case was that by August last year of an Irish citizen who had purchased bitcoin through an online broker in the UK.
According to the report, the Irishman was “banned from entering the UK, due to concerns over his involvement with an organisation involved in criminal activity.”
The third case was the case of British man Thomas Smith, a senior manager at a private equity firm.
Smith, along with a partner, purchased bitcoin for $20,000 and transferred $20 million to the bank.
The transaction was approved by the bank and was not flagged as suspicious, the report found.
According to the statement, Smith was not charged with any crime.
The RBS has previously issued statements about the potential risks associated with Bitcoin, noting that the virtual currency has not been proven to be a safe haven for criminals or terrorists.