The Financial Conduct Authority has warned that FTX is not allowed to offer financial services or products in the UK.
The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has warned people not to use the cryptocurrency exchange FTX because it has been operating in the UK without permission.
In a statement, the FCA said that “almost all firms and people who offer, promote, or sell financial services or products in the UK have to be authorised or registered by us” and that FTX “is not authorised by us and is targeting people in the UK.”
Since August 2020, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has been making a list of digital asset companies that have signed up and followed the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing, and Transfer of Funds Regulations of 2017.
As of today, 37 companies are on that list. Some of them are crypto exchanges like Gemini, Kraken, Galaxy Digital, and eToro. The challenger bank Revolut is on the list, but it is only registered temporarily.
In a blog post about the details of registration, the FCA says that “firms that have not stopped trading are at risk of being subject to the FCA’s criminal and civil enforcement powers.”
It is not clear if the warning will have any immediate effects on Sam Bankman-FTX, Fried’s which is based in the Bahamas, or if they will be able to talk to the regulator about their case.
A spokesman for FTX told Decrypt: “We’re looking into it and talking to the government about it because we think a con artist is pretending to be FTX. The FCA’s list of phone numbers is not for FTX. Instead, they are a crypto scam.”
For many years, the FCA has been known for being very strict with digital asset companies. For example, the FCA has said that the cryptocurrency exchange Binance is “not allowed to do any regulated activity in the UK.” Two months later, the FCA gave an update on the case, saying that Binance had “met all requirements” but was “still unable to do regulated business in the UK.”
When it comes to businesses that aren’t regulated, the FCA told customers, “You won’t have access to the Financial Ombudsman Service or be protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), so it’s unlikely you’ll get your money back if something goes wrong.”