June 19, 2023 at 12:37 GMTModified date: June 19, 2023 at 12:37 GMT
June 19, 2023 at 12:37 GMT

Binance pulls out of UK registration with FCA

Binance Markets Limited (BML) has officially withdrawn its request for registration with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

London. Pic: Unsplash

Binance Markets Limited (BML), the UK-based subsidiary, has officially withdrawn its request for registration with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

This leaves the subsidiary with no operational approvals in the country. BML was acquired by the Binance Group in 2020, with the aim of launching a regulated business in the UK. The firm was previously authorised by the FCA and/or Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA).

According to the official website of the regulatory watchdog, it can no longer provide regulated activities and products.

An update from FCA stated that BML had submitted a cancellation request of their FCA permissions which was completed on 30 May 2023. As per reports, the UK unit is now focusing on the newly amended Financial Promotions Order. This is a mandatory rule to operate in the country, coming into effect on 8 October 2023.

According to Ilir Laro, Binance’s sub-regional manager for growth in the UK and Europe, cancellation of BML’s registration does not have an operational impact on Binance as it did not conduct “any type of regulated business” in the country. Since it was never operational, it did not have any users.

Stating the same, he said: “BML was successfully acquired back in 2020 by Binance Group, intended to launch a regulated business in the UK. This attempt was not successful, however, and has since then remained dormant since its acquisition.”

On the global front, the crypto exchange has been facing heat from various regulatory authorities. It has been in a tight spot over two civil lawsuits brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in the US.

Back in 2021, the FCA had ordered the local subsidiary of Binance to stop all regulatory activities in the UK. Its initial imposition of restrictions on BML curtailed the firm from conducting any regulated activity in the country.

Binance has also scaled down its presence in Europe recently. It withdrew its VASP registration in Cyprus and stopped offering services in the Netherlands as it failed to obtain a local licence.

However, explaining these moves, Laro pointed out that Binance already has five regulated entities in Europe: France, Italy, Spain, Poland and Sweden. He further noted: “As MiCA kicks into force in 2024/5, we are moving focus to getting ready which means some consolidating in order to passport throughout Europe.”