Watchdog clamps down on crypto-currency exchange Binance amid concerns over fraud
The City watchdog has clashed with one of the world's largest cryptocurrency exchanges.
The Financial Conduct Authority rebuked Binance over the weekend, forcing the firm to plaster warnings over its website telling consumers that it 'is not permitted to undertake regulated activity in the UK'.
But Binance has hit back, saying the FCA notice has 'no direct impact' on the services it provides.
Binance offers the chance to buy and trade cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, ethereum and dogecoin.
But this activity is not 'regulated' – meaning the FCA is limited in the actions it can take against Binance.
Though its warning will not affect Binance's services, the watchdog is hoping it will sound alarm bells with consumers and make them think twice about buying crypto-currencies through the firm.
The FCA's attack on Binance is understood to relate to fears over its money-laundering and fraud controls.
All cryptocurrency firms operating in the UK must register with the FCA by March 2022, to confirm that they have sufficient checks in place to prevent their platforms being used for money laundering, fraud and terrorist financing.
But the regulator recently warned that many of the applications it has received are totally inadequate.
It revealed that Binance had withdrawn its application, putting a halt to the firm's plans to launch a dedicated UK site.
A Binance spokesman said: 'We take our compliance obligations very seriously.'