Binance’s attempts to re-enter UK hit a roadblock

credit: Shutterstock
credit: Shutterstock

The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange Binance is experiencing troubles re-entering the UK market due to local partners’ reluctance to work with the company. 

According to sources close to the matter provided to Bloomberg, regulated firms in the UK are getting cold feet on working with Binance, with three entities rejecting proposals from the exchange to work under the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) newly established digital asset rules. 

Two sources also told Bloomberg that the FCA “expressed concern” to several regulated companies on their enquiries to work with Binance. 

The FCA introduced regulations under Section 21 last October that stated digital asset providers must work with a third party operator to offer services in the UK, as well as clamping down on what the financial regulator believes to be ‘risky’ crypto-related advertisements and promotions.

Binance announced last October that it will stop taking on UK users as the FCA blocked its partnership with RebuildingSociety to help run its ads in the country.  

Despite the sources’ claims, Binance has refuted UK opposition, revealing in an email statement: “It is not accurate to say that we have been rebuffed by section 21 approvers in the UK. 

“We continue to have productive conversations with potential approvers and are confident that we will be able to provide a positive update soon.”

This latest development at Binance adds to what has been a challenging several months for the crypto exchange as former CEO Changpeng Zhao is expected to face trial this month in the US after pleading guilty to breaking the Bank Secrecy Act

Binance was also heavily charged last November, agreeing a record $4.3bn settlement fee with the US Department of Justice over violating money laundering rules, with Richard Teng taking over as CEO with Zhao stepping down.