Binance is facing hurdles in its bid to re-enter the U.K. market due to hesitancy from potential local partners amid concerns from regulatory bodies.
According to Bloomberg, which received anonymous reports from people close to the matter, three U.K. entities licensed to liaise between crypto platforms and their clientele have declined Binance’s overtures in the past few months. Under U.K. regulations, Binance must obtain endorsement from a firm sanctioned by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to oversee financial promotions. This ensures that any public communication adheres to the FCA’s stringent guidelines.
Despite these setbacks, Binance maintains that its search for a compliant partner is ongoing and not without hope. The company refuted claims of difficulty in partnering with FCA-approved firms. Binance told Bloomberg that the exchange is actively discussing with prospective partners and expects to share positive developments very soon.
The cryptocurrency giant had previously withdrawn its application with the FCA via its subsidiary, Binance Markets Limited, in May 2023. This move came after it opted to forego regulatory approval for certain services it had initially not planned to offer in the U.K., leading to the current situation where no Binance-affiliated entity holds FCA authorization for operating within the country.
Legal challenges in the U.S. further complicate Binance’s efforts in the U.K. as the SEC launched a lawsuit against Binance and its CEO, Changpeng Zhao, in June 2023, to which the exchange and Zhao pled guilty. This led to one of the largest settlements in the industry’s history, exceeding $4 billion, while Zhao still awaits his trial.