Britain bans crypto-currency exchange, Binance

Gabby Fernie

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has banned Binance, the world's biggest crypto-currency exchange, according to a report by the BBC

The regulator has ruled that the firm can no longer carry out any regulated activity in the UK and has issued a warning to consumers about the platform, which is coming under growing scrutiny globally.

The FCA does not regulate crypto-currencies but requires exchanges to register with them. Binance has not registered with the FCA and therefore is not allowed to operate an exchange in the UK.

However, as the firm is not based in the UK, there will be no "direct impact" on UK residents who use the website to purchase and sell crypto-currencies.

The FCA move comes amid pushback from regulators around the world against crypto-currency platforms.

Last week, Binance announced it was pulling out of Ontario, Canada, after the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) accused it and several other crypto trading platforms of failing to comply with province regulations.

In April, Germany's financial regulator BaFin said the exchange risked being fined for offering digital tokens without an investor prospectus.

Binance Group is currently based in the Cayman Islands, while Binance Markets Limited (BML) is an affiliate firm based in London.

The FCA said that BML, which is owned by Binance Group, is not currently permitted to undertake any regulated activities without the prior written consent of the FCA. It has until Wednesday to comply with the ruling. 

It must also secure and preserve all records relating to UK consumers and inform the FCA this has been done by 2 July.

Binance has previously stated that it “takes its compliance obligations very seriously and is committed to following local regulator requirements wherever we operate.”