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FCA warns consumers about crypto exchange FTX UK

UK's financial regulator says FTX may be operating without authorisation.

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Sam Bankman-Fried/ © Lam Yik/Bloomberg.

The UK's Financial Conduct Authority has issued a warning to consumers that crypto exchange FTX is offering financial services and products to British clients without authorisation. 

On Friday, the regulator said that FTX, run by crypto-whizz Sam Bankman-Fried was "targeting people in the UK" adding that consumers are "unlikely to get your money back if things go wrong". 

In June 2021, the FCA issued a similar warning on FTX competitor Binance, stating that the crypto giant was not permitted to undertake any regulated activity in the UK.

The altercation with Binance saw the exchange move its European headquarters to Dublin, with London previously thought of as the natural location for Binance to settle down. 

In April, the UK doubled down on its crypto asset register, a program that requires firms who operate in the crypto space to meet the FCA's anti-money-laundering standards. 

Following's successful registration in August, a mere 37 out of 248 crypto firms seeking registration have met the FCA's standards and subsequently been granted the right to operate in the UK. 

Additional firms who are on the register include crypto brokerage and exchange firm Gemini and crypto exchange and bank Kraken. However, Coinbase, Binance and FTX are not. 

Last month, FTX's European division announced that Cyprus' financial regulator had granted the exchange an investment firm license. 

At the time, Bankman-Fried, FTX's chief executive said: “Securing this licence in the European Union is an important step in achieving our goal of becoming one of the most regulated exchanges in the world.”

The FCA and FTX have not responded to a request for comment.

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