NatWest reducing bank transfer limits

I thought this was worth sharing as an example of some of the measures banks are taking to combat fraud:


Good to know, I’m just selling my apartment but hope solicitors don’t charge that much!

It’ll be interesting to see how they deal with limit increase requests, we know it’s a pain point for us and maybe we’ll be able to learn something from them!


Did you mean NatWest in the title of this topic? HSBC aren’t mentioned in the article.

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They’ll be using biometric approval in app, you can register your face biometrics. It’s not fully rolled out yet and no info in app about how it’ll work.

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How does that stop the scams where people are pressurised into transferring the money though? People already ignore the warnings when it might be a scam payment so what’s the point in reducing the limit if it’s so easy to override it?


Have to wait to see what the rules are around it, I just know they sent a message in app saying that’s how an increase will be requested.

Waiting to see how it works as it was lacking detail.

I think the new £5k default limit has been around with NatWest for a little while now. I haven’t gone all the way through with the process of raising it back up to the old £20,000 (because I don’t actually need it, at least for now), but I believe it’s as simple as changing a setting in online banking (you can type in any number between £0 and £20k IIRC) and confirming using the card reader. As @DaveJ says, they’re working on offering biometric approval in place of the card reader using their mobile app, and once that’s up and running I assume you’ll be able to confirm a change to the daily transfer limit setting in online banking using either the card reader or the new biometric approval capabilities of the app.



That seems to me that reducing the limit then is almost pointless. The majority of large payments made from a customers account (at least in terms of fraud, rather than money laundering) are in my experience authorised by the customer.

Scammers are already really good at convincing people to ignore all the warnings about confirmation of payee, scam warnings, etc that I don’t see how this approach is gonna reduce fraud at all.


The card reader thing for raising limit must be on online banking then, it’s been a while since I’ve used the website as always use the app.

I’ll check it out later see what I can find

It seems it’s simply there to add an extra hurdle, and I guess they’re hoping that the added friction of this will mean some potential victims reconsider. But yes, if a fraudster is able to convince the victim to ignore all of the pre-existing warnings anyway, I’m unsure of how much of an impact this will actually have.

It hoped that this extra step would give customers a chance to consider why they were being asked to transfer a large sum of money.

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I’ve only kept my Nationwide as they don’t have the £10k a day limit that Monzo does.

Interesting to see how this develops.

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Yes, it’s only currently available via the website. Considering NatWest has a transfer limit of £1,000 via the app for payees not yet paid via online banking, it seems that for a >£1k fraud attempt the scammer would need to coerce the victim into using online banking anyway.

Personally, as someone who likes to use mobile apps for banking whenever possible, I hope that the release of biometric authentication in the app means that there will finally be limit parity between mobile and online banking.

What is Nationwide’s limit out of interest? NatWest say that if you want to make a payment over £20k, you’ll either need to spread it out over multiple days or pay for CHAPS (which is £23, or £21 if the recipient is a NatWest account holder). Funnily enough, this is starting to make some fintechs (which I usually view as not fit for large payments) seem more accommodating. Starling will allow anything up to the Faster Payments system limit of a quarter of a million, but anything over £25k may involve CS (I believe I read somewhere that the way it now works is that instead of contacting them, you just try and make the large payment as usual but at the end instead of ‘Pay’ it will say ‘Request’ or something like that instead of going through immediately it will be marked as pending/awaiting review, and it’s then sent to CS for review and confirmation - they may then get in touch to ask some questions, or might just approve it, depending on the circumstances of course).

EDIT: This is from their help article…

The Faster payments scheme has a £250,000 per transaction limit. You can process payments up to this limit in the app, as you would any other payment, and should we need any further information, we’ll request this from you in-app. In some circumstances you may be asked to provide some further information and/or evidence regarding your payment. For example, we might ask you for more information if you are making a property purchase (e.g. Completion Statement, Lease Agreement Stock).

If you need to send more than £500,000 in one day, this will need to be done via a CHAPS payment. To request this, please get in touch with us.

(CHAPS with Starling is £20)


I’d prefer you were good at it and they needed to copy you! You shouldn’t be learning from legacy banks - where has the innovation and creative thinking gone.


I don’t know their limit, but I did 3x £10,000 transfers to a fixed rate product with another provider on the same day, without issue.

With Monzo, it would have been a three day transaction or negotiate CS for increase in limit.

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Such an amount to transfer may be possible with :monzo:, depending on the circumstances and the payment methods accepted:

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I couldn’t have funded my fixed term saver product in that manner tbh

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I accept it is extreme, but possible in the right circumstances.

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I agree with your analysis here and I’m also a bit concerned at how raising the limit might be “framed” by the bank if you happen to have already raised the limit and later somehow become a victim of fraud.

Will the bank try to blame your for raising the limit in the first place, and justify not refunding as a result?

I also think the article’s passing reference to Santander and Nationwide changing their limits is cause for concern. NatWest allow you to keep the higher limit if you want/need to, but perhaps the other banks won’t?

Any move to reduce the maximum payable via Faster Payments is a step backwards, in my view, and it should at least be possible to opt out if it. I don’t want to need to potentially pay for CHAPS payments if I’m moving a large amount just because the bank has decided it won’t allow me to use Faster Payments, even though the scheme limit is sufficient.