UK Regulator Warns Crypto Firms of 'Hard to Read' Risk Warnings

The Financial Conduct Authority has blocked Binance's chosen ad approver and added 221 firms to its warnings list since a new crypto marketing regime took effect on Oct. 8.

AccessTimeIconOct 25, 2023 at 11:55 a.m. UTC
Updated Oct 25, 2023 at 11:56 a.m. UTC
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The U.K.’s financial watchdog is promising more restrictions on authorized crypto firms if they aren’t careful with ads – including making sure risk warnings are in a legible font.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) expanded its alert list for non-compliant firms, adding a whopping 221 companies since a new marketing regime took effect on Oct. 8. The new rules require crypto service providers to either put in the work to get registered with the regulator or ask an authorized firm to approve their communications to local clients.

The FCA highlighted "common issues" it has noticed with crypto promos in a Wednesday post, just weeks after blocking unregistered firm Binance's chosen ad approver from greenlighting any crypto-related communications. As a result, the world's largest crypto exchange stopped onboarding new clients in the country.

Wednesday's post referred to the action against the approver, Rebuildingsociety.com, and tells authorizers to watch out for claims of "security" or "safety" without adequate risk warnings, and to make sure warnings are not in "small fonts, hard-to-read coloring or non-prominent positioning."

"We expect authorized firms approving the financial promotions of cryptoasset firms to take their regulatory obligations seriously," the FCA said, adding that it's working with social media platforms, apps, search engines and other entities to block illegal promotions in the country.

"We are also working with payments firms to limit U.K. consumer exposure to firms issuing illegal promotions. These businesses should consider the alerts we have issued and play their part in protecting U.K. consumers," the post said.

Edited by Sheldon Reback.

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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.


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