FCA blacklists Binance over anti-money laundering failings

By Oliver Smith on Monday 28 June 2021

Savings and Investment

The crypto exchange denies the measures will impact its ability to serve UK consumers.

FCA blacklists Binance over anti-money laundering failings
Image source: Executium/Unsplash.

After warning that huge numbers of crypto firms were failing to meet its anti-money laundering (AML) rules, the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK has ordered crypto exchange giant Binance to stop operating.

In a notice added to the FCA Register on Friday, the regulator stated that Binance’s UK division must withdraw all advertising and must not “carry out any regulated activities”.

The regulator is also stating that a prominent notice of the restrictions must be placed on Binance’s website, apps and social accounts warning consumers of the ban.

Binance denied that the FCA’s actions would have any practical impact on its ability to service its UK customers, given its exchange and website are separate legal entities based outside the UK.

However, the FCA added a consumer warning on Saturday to its website, stating that “no other entity in the Binance Group holds any form of UK authorisation, registration or licence to conduct regulated activity in the UK”.

The warning included a notice on the high risks of investing in “cryptoasset or cryptoasset-related products”.

Last month the FCA said just five crypto firms had managed to meet the AML rules required to register with it.

The deadline for the remaining 90 firms, who are currently operating under temporary registration, to comply was delayed to March 2022.

“The extended date allows cryptoasset firms to continue to carry on business while the FCA continues with its robust assessment,” the regulator said.

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