This story has been updated.
Binance, arguably the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange, has quietly resumed withdrawals in British pounds sterling (GBP) after halting the process in July amid a UK regulatory crackdown.
Binance first halted withdrawals in sterling for UK customers in June following a Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) warning against using the services of its subsidiary Binance Markets Limited. The warning meant that the company would not be permitted to undertake any regulated activity in the UK.
While Binance took a bullish approach at first and said that the FCA’s warning wouldn’t have any impact on cryptocurrency trading, it soon started to feel the impact of the intensifying scrutiny. In July, UK bank Barclays banned customers from transferring funds to the bitcoin exchange. HSBC, Santander and NatWest followed suit in the following weeks.
Amidst all this, Binance suspended GBP withdrawals and deposits on the cryptocurrency exchange in the UK days after the FCA warning.
Then Binance announced that GBP withdrawals had been reactivated via the Faster Payments network, which enabled mobile, internet and other payments between British bank accounts or bank cards.
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The situation took another turn in mid-July when Faster Payments pulled out of the partnership, leaving UK customers again unable to withdraw sterling from the exchange.
Now it seems that GBP deposits and withdrawals are again on the table, with Binance having quietly resumed the service, despite the exchange stating that the Faster Payments channel is “currently closed for maintenance.”
“We can confirm that GBP deposits and withdrawals via bank card have been resumed,” a Binance spokesperson told Verdict this morning. “Faster Payments is still unavailable, we are working hard to make this channel available again.
“We take our compliance obligations very seriously and we are committed to achieving 100% compliance, globally, as evidenced by a number of new and enhanced initiatives including the recent implementation of mandatory KYC. Binance Markets Limited has complied with the FCA’s requirements and does not offer any products or services via Binance.com.”
Given there’s no news from the major banks that have severed ties with Binance, it’s unclear how many of the cryptocurrency exchange’s customers can benefit from GBP withdrawals and deposits being back in action.
A week after this story was published it was revealed that Binance is aiming for a public float of its US arm in the next three years.