- Binance, a cryptocurrency exchange, is working to expand its business in the U.K.
- The company would apply for a license from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) after hiring an army of compliance officers and former City Hall employees.
- Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao told the newspaper that the company hopes to become a registered crypto asset firm in the country within six to 18 months.
According to the company’s chief executive officer who spoke to the Sunday Telegraph newspaper Binance, a cryptocurrency exchange, is working to expand its business in the U.K after the country’s regulator told it to halt operations earlier this year. The company would apply for a license from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) after hiring an army of compliance officers and former City Hall employees.
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao told the newspaper that the company hopes to become a registered crypto-asset firm in the country within six to 18 months. If the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange can overcome British anti-money laundering regulations that have stymied the industry, the move will allow it to offer a broader range of products.
Zhao stated that relations with the regulator had improved since Binance was censored without ceremony by the FCA this summer. The regulator had intervened, stating that the company was not authorized to operate in the UK and had failed to respond to basic questions about its structure. He added that “There we are totally committed. We are making a number of very substantial changes to our organizational structures, product offerings, our internal processes, and the way we work with regulators. We want to continue to establish a presence in the UK and serve UK users in a fully licensed and fully compatible manner.”
The FCA issued a consumer alert against the British entity Binance in June, informing customers that “no regulated activity was permitted in the UK” and ordering it to cease financial promotions and advertising. He later stated that he was “unable” to oversee the company because he had not responded to inquiries about its headquarters.
Since then, Zhao has pledged to review Binance and work with regulators. He said the company had set up an office in Britain, with a “number of former UK regulatory staff” and a “couple of hundreds of compliance people” since the FCA notice in June. “Since then, our team has had very positive interactions with the FCA, we requested face-to-face meetings as soon as we saw this notice. So this communication is definitely happening.”
Binance withdrew its FCA application shortly before the agency’s intervention in June, but it still offers cryptocurrency trading in the UK through its global business. Zhao stated that if regulators allow it, he hopes to be able to offer more complex financial products such as futures and derivatives in the UK.