Binance resumes support of bank transfers for the euro and pound sterling, some eight months after the top crypto exchange mysteriously suspended Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) activity without explanation.
Last July, regulatory pressure forced Binance to stop processing deposits and withdrawals of euros and pounds in the majority of Europe. Regulators also limited Binance’s ability to offer futures and options trading in the UK.
The regulatory pushback included the UK’s blocking of Binance from participating in most financial activities. Binance at the time claimed the move was due to both maintenance and “events beyond our control.”
Fast forward to 2022: Binance chief exec Changpeng Zhao meets with senior officials in the UK on March 2.
Now, about a week later, Binance announces it has fully regained banking access and reactivated Euro and Pound deposits and withdrawals (except in the Netherlands and Switzerland).
Bifinity, a new venture under the Binance Group umbrella, simultaneously revealed a deal with crypto firm Eqonex Limited that would see it offer a $36 million convertible loan to Eqonex.
Binance Group specifically launched Bifinity as its fiat-to-crypto payments provider.
Binance bank deal triggers FCA to issue press release
In sync with Binance’s release, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issued its own statement on the agreement between Bifinity and Eqonex Limited.
The FCA (the UK equivalent of the US Securities and Exchange Commission) reiterated the the agency’s previously stated concerns about Binance’s regulatory status.
It says Binance can only participate in regulated activities (like offering margin trading and derivatives) with written permission from the FCA. Crypto trading specifically is not a regulated activity within the UK.
“This requirement was put in place because, in the FCA’s view, Binance Markets is not capable of being effectively supervised,” wrote the FCA.
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“This is particularly concerning in the context of Binance Markets’ membership of the global Binance group, which offers complex and high-risk financial products posing a significant risk to consumers.”
The FCA warns that crypto investors will not have access to the Financial Ombudsman Service or the Financial Services Compensation Scheme if they lose their investments managed by Binance.
It’s worth noting too that Binance’s reanimated European banking services only support retail customers.