UK Financial Watchdog Cancels Binance Permissions on Firm's Request

U.K.'s Financial Conduct Authority said Binance's local unit is no longer authorized to provide any regulated services in the country.

AccessTimeIconJun 19, 2023 at 1:06 p.m. UTC
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U.K.'s top financial regulator has cancelled several permissions given to crypto exchange Binance's U.K. unit on the company's request, an update to the regulator's website showed.

Binance Markets Limited held several permissions from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for "activities that it never carried out or offered" in the U.K., a spokesperson for Binance told CoinDesk in an emailed statement Monday, confirming the firm had requested to withdraw those permissions.

"As these permissions were unlikely to be required in the future, Binance Markets Limited decided that it would be prudent to cancel them in line with the FCA’s recommendations to keep these updated," the spokesperson for Binance said. "This decision has no impact on Binance.com, which does not own or operate any crypto services in the U.K. and is only available to U.K. consumers on a reverse solicitation basis."

Binance recently moved to withdraw its registration with a Cyprus regulator saying it was focusing on fewer European jurisdictions as the EU's new Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulation kicks in. The company announced on Friday that it was quitting the Netherlands after failing to obtain regulatory approval in the country.

The company is also facing regulatory heat elsewhere with its U.S. unit and founder Changpeng "CZ" Zhao facing a lawsuit from the Securities and Exchange Commission for the alleged sale of securities and operation of an unregistered trading platform. French authorities confirmed last week that the platform has been under investigation for "aggravated money laundering" since at least 2022.

"Following the completion of the cancellation of permissions the firm is no longer authorized by the FCA," the regulator's website said as part of a June 7 update. "No other entity in the Binance Group holds any form of U.K. authorization or registration to conduct regulated business in the U.K."

The FCA in 2021 famously said Binance was "not capable of being effectively supervised," while telling its U.K. arm it was not allowed to carry out any regulated activities in the country.

"The Binance Group appear to be offering U.K. customers a range of products and services via a website, Binance.com," the regulator said.

Edited by Parikshit Mishra.

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Sandali Handagama

Sandali Handagama is CoinDesk's deputy managing editor for policy and regulations, EMEA. She does not own any crypto.

Jamie Crawley

Jamie Crawley is a CoinDesk news reporter based in London.


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