The Business Times

UK regulator issues warning on crypto’s FTX to consumers

Published Tue, Sep 20, 2022 · 06:25 AM

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published a warning to consumers about Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto exchange FTX, saying it isn’t authorised by the regulator to offer financial services or products in the country.

The regulator said on Friday (Sep 16) on its website that Bahamas-based FTX “is targeting people in the UK”, adding that investors are “unlikely to get your money back if things go wrong” since they won’t be protected by the country’s ombudsman service and compensation scheme.

The FCA previously issued a similar warning about Binance, another major global crypto exchange, and its activities in the UK. Dozens of regulators around the world later put out similar statements about Binance.

A spokesperson for FTX said the firm is aware of the notice, but added that the FCA had listed an incorrect phone number for the exchange.

“We’re looking into it and communicating with regulators; we believe that a scammer is impersonating FTX,” the spokesperson said by email. “The phone numbers listed by the FCA are not from FTX and are listed as a crypto scam.”

Following FTX’s statement, an FCA spokesperson said: “Given the risks to consumers from unregistered or scam firms it’s important we issue warnings as quickly as possible and will issue updates if further information comes to light.”

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The UK made permanent its crypto asset register in April this year, a programme that requires firms conducting crypto activity in the country to meet the FCA’s anti-money laundering standards. While some firms like Gemini, Kraken and Crypto.com are on the register, others such as FTX, Coinbase and Binance are not. All are still accessible by UK consumers. BLOOMBERG

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