The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange has been banned from operating in the UK.
Binance has been told by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) that it cannot conduct any “regulated activity” in the UK. The FCA also issued a consumer warning regarding binance.com, telling investors to be wary about their adverts promising a high return from cryptocurrency speculation. According to Binance, the FCA ban will have no “direct impact” on providing services via its website.
The exchange is not based in the UK, so there is no practical implication for UK residents who use the website to buy and sell cryptocurrency. It’s worth noting that the FCA does not regulate cryptocurrencies. Exchanges are, however, obligated to register with the FCA for anti-money laundering purposes. Because Binance has not registered with the FCA, it cannot operate its exchange in the UK.
In a statement, Binance said:
“We take a collaborative approach in working with regulators and we take our compliance obligations very seriously. We are actively keeping abreast of changing policies, rules and laws in this new space.”
Binance Group is based in the Cayman Islands but has an affiliate firm in London and entities in different countries. According to the FCA, Binance Markets Limited, owned by Binance Group, is not permitted to undertake any regulated activity in the UK without first obtaining written consent from the regulator.
In the US, Binance has already been investigated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding money laundering processes and tax offences.Consumers in the US received a similar regulatory warning about Binance in April. Binance has also pulled out of operations in a region of Canada after the Ontario Securities Commission accused it and other cryptocurrency platforms of failing to comply with regulations in the province. Last week, Japan’s Financial Services Agency issued its second warning to Binance that it is operating without permission