The Financial Conduct Authority expressed concerned about a deal reportedly giving Binance access to a large UK payments network.
Binance, the world’s biggest crypto exchange by volume, said its users could deposit sterling using the Faster Payment Service after it reached an agreement with payments firm Paysafe, the FT first reported. The FCA said it was concerned about the arrangement, which restores links between Binance and the UK’s financial system, in comments to the newspaper.
The FCA said that it was aware of the Paysafe deal and its “concerns about Binance remain”.
However, the financial watchdog said it had “limited powers to object to arrangements of this kind”.
“Paysafe is aware of our concerns and is subject to close ongoing supervision consistent with our approach for firms of its size. We cannot comment further,” the FCA told the FT.
The comments come after the FCA issued a consumer warning about Binance on its website in June, informing consumers that the platform was operating in the UK without proper permissions. The crypto exchange lost access to Faster Payments last summer after the FCA ordered Binance to cease activity in the UK. Banking giants including Barclays, Santander and HSBC blocked UK customers from sending money to the exchange.
Multiple regulators worldwide followed suit with similar warnings.
Relations between Binance and the UK regulator worsened in August, with the FCA commenting that Binance’s “complex and high-risk financial products” pose “a significant risk to consumers”. The FCA accused the embattled exchange of failing to provide basic information which would make supervision possible.
In the month’s since the embattled crypto exchange has engaged in a charm offensive, seeking to win over regulators. In December, Binance upped its identification requirements for UK customers and previously published a list of suggested principles for global crypto regulation.
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