The United Kingdom’s financial regulatory body, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has banned Binance, top cryptocurrency trading platforms.
In a notice dated June 25, FCA said Binance Markets Ltd “must not, without the prior written consent of the FCA, carry out any regulated activities… with immediate effect.”
The FCA has told Binance that by June 30 it must display a notice stating “BINANCE MARKETS LIMITED IS NOT PERMITTED TO UNDERTAKE ANY REGULATED ACTIVITY IN THE UK” on its website and social media channels.
It must also secure and preserve all records relating to UK consumers and inform the FCA this has been done by July 2.
Though trading of cryptocurrencies is not directly regulated in Britain, services such as trading in cryptocurrency requires authorisation by the FCA.
The FCA is carrying out its oversight powers over cryptocurrency trade as bodies and regulatory powers address concerns relating to its potential role in aiding money laundering and fraud.
In January, the FCA put out a requirement for all firms offering cryptocurrency-related services to register and show they comply with anti-money laundering rules. However earlier this month it said that only five firms had registered with it.
As of May 12, another 90 have temporary registration, allowing them to continue trading while their applications are assessed. The FCA noted that this status did not mean the registered bodies were “fit and proper.”
Binance has garnered global scrutiny over the past couple of months. In June, Japan said that the crypto trading platform was operating in the country illegally. This announcement was made on Japan’s Financial Services Agency website.
In May, Peoples Gazette reported that the trading platform came under investigation by officials from the U.S. Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service, who probe for money laundering and tax offences.
In April, Reuters reported that Germany’s financial regulator BaFin said the exchange risked being fined for offering digital tokens without an investor prospectus.
CBN warns banks over foreign exchange malpractices
The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has insisted that the FX operating license of any bank or banks that are found guilty of ongoing investigations in foreign exchange malpractices would be suspended for at least a year.
The circular signed today by the Director Trade and Exchange Department, CBN, Ozoemena Nnaji stated: “In line with the continuing close surveillance of our financial markets in general and the FX market in particular, the CBN wishes to remind all banks that it is their responsibility to not only Know their Customers (KYC requirements) but also Know their customers’ business (KYCB requirements).
“Given these responsibilities and in view of recent occurrences in the market, the CBN would like to remind banks to desist from all and any forms of FX malpractices.
“We wish to reiterate that the FX operating license of any bank or banks that are found culpable with ongoing investigations would be suspended for at least one year. Please note and ensure compliance.”
Naira hits historic low of 543 against dollar
The naira has continued to depreciate on the parallel market, selling for N543 to the dollar on Thursday.
The bureau de change operators in Abuja bought dollar at N540, then it was sold for N543.
The British Pound was also sold for £1/N740.
This comes 44 days after the Central Bank of Nigeria barred sale of Forex to all bureau de change operators across the country.
On June 27, 2021, the CBN ended the sales of Forex to BDCs saying the parallel market had become a conduit for illicit Forex flows and graft.
The CBN said it would also no longer process applications for BDC licences in the country.