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The UK subsidiary of the world’s largest crypto exchange has canceled unused permissions it held with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Binance Markets Limited (BML) has officially withdrawn the permissions the company held with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for non crypto-related activities, meaning that it “can no longer provide regulated activities and products,” according to the regulator’s statement.
Per an update on FCA’s website, dated June 7, the registration has been withdrawn at the company's request, which “was completed on 30 May 2023 and is reflected on the FCA Register.
“Following the completion of the cancellation of permissions the firm is no longer authorised by the FCA,” said the UK financial regulator. “No other entity in the Binance Group holds any form of UK authorisation or registration to conduct regulated business in the UK.”
What is Binance Markets Limited?
BML was launched in June 2020 after Binance acquired and rebranded a company called EddieUK, with the exchange's CEO Changpeng 'CZ' Zhao appointed as “person with significant control” over the entity.
At the time, a Binance spokesperson told Decrypt that the company was acquired in order to help launch binance.uk, a planned crypto exchange designed to service UK consumers, similar to its U.S. offering Binance US.
In June 2021, the FCA issued a consumer warning over Binance's UK subsidiary, even though it remained dormant.
"Binance Markets Limited held various FCA permissions for activities that it never carried out or offered in the UK,” a Binance spokesperson told Decrypt. “As these permissions were unlikely to be required in the future, Binance Markets Limited decided that it would be prudent to cancel them in line with the FCA’s recommendations to keep these updated.”
According to the exchange, this decision “has no impact” on the global trading platform Binance.com, “which does not own or operate any crypto services in the UK and is only available to UK consumers on a reverse solicitation basis."
Binance and regulators
The news comes amid regulatory challenges for Binance, with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing a lawsuit against the exchange earlier in June alleging that it had violated U.S. securities laws, and French authorities investigating the exchange for offenses including “aggravated money laundering.”
Last week, Binance also announced plans to pull out of Cyprus, with the exchange’s spokesperson telling Decrypt that it was focusing “efforts on fewer regulated entities in the E.U.”
In a separate development, Binance announced the termination of its operations in the Netherlands after failing to obtain a virtual asset service provider (VASP) license.