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UK financial watchdog restricts Binance partner from issuing crypto ads

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The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) of the United Kingdom has placed restrictions on peer-to-peer lending platform Rebuildingsociety, the firm with which crypto exchange Binance partnered for compliance with the regulator’s marketing regime. 

In an Oct. 10 notice, the FCA said Rebuildingsociety was not authorized to “approve the content of any financial promotion for a Qualifying Cryptoasset for communication by an unauthorised person” and needed to withdraw any existing approvals. The notice suggested that Binance may no longer have a U.K. partner in compliance with the FCA’s marketing requirements, which went into effect on Oct. 8.

The regulator warned Rebuildingsociety to notify any client — presumably including Binance — that it was “not permitted to approve the content of any Financial Promotion for a Qualifying Cryptoasset,” withdraw any ads offering to approve financial promotions and confirm its compliance to the FCA in writing. Binance aimed to use Rebuildingsociety to allow its U.K. users to view the exchange’s products and services through a localized domain, as the exchange is not registered with the FCA.

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The FCA’s restrictions came less than seven days after Binance’s announcement of a partnership with Rebuildingsociety, allowing the exchange to market spot trading, nonfungible tokens and other products and services to U.K. users. Under the FCA’s regime, the crypto exchange said it would no longer offer referral bonuses and gift cards.

The marketing regime, which took effect on Oct. 8, was aimed at requiring firms, including crypto companies, to provide “clear, fair and not misleading” ads or risk criminal charges. The FCA added that certain companies could receive approval for a January 2024 deadline amid uncertainty surrounding the rules, but it’s unclear whether Binance planned to pursue this extension. Companies, including OKX and MoonPay, have already announced they plan to comply with the FCA rules.

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