(Bloomberg) -- Australia’s banking sector is making it harder to transfer funds to cryptocurrency exchanges, citing the risk of scams.

The latest step came from Commonwealth Bank of Australia, which plans to impose a A$10,000 ($6,663) monthly limit on payments to digital-asset trading platforms. Some transfers will be held for 24 hours or declined, the lender also said in a statement on Thursday.

James Roberts, CBA’s general manager of group fraud management services, said “scammers” worldwide are “masquerading as legitimate investment opportunities or diverting funds into cryptocurrency exchanges.”

On May 18, Australia’s Westpac Banking Corp. said it had begun trialling new customer protections for some crypto payments to reduce “scam losses.”

The same day, Binance Australia said it could no longer offer Aussie dollar deposit services due to a decision by payments solutions provider Cuscal. 

Cuscal said at the time its primary focus is on “protecting Australians from financial crimes and scams.”

Australians lost at least A$3 billion to scams in 2022, an 80% jump from a year earlier, with crypto playing a significant role, according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

--With assistance from Nabila Ahmed.

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