Binance’s woes continue to mount as global banking giant HSBC is now blocking its customers in the United Kingdom from making credit card payments to Binance, according to Yahoo News. Binance is the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange.
- HSBC’s move follows similar actions taken by NatWest — a Scotland-based bank with 12.5 million customers — as well as the U.K. bank Barclays and Spanish Bank Santander, which blocked customer payments to Binance last month.
- A spokesperson for HSBC said: “We won’t comment on individual securities or cryptocurrency exchanges. We place particular emphasis on high anti-money-laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) standards, and are closely following developments, client demand and changing regulation in these markets.”
- Binance has faced increasing regulatory pressure in the U.K. since June when the Financial Conduct Authority said that a subsidiary of Binance.com — Binance Markets Ltd. — was not to undertake any regulated activity without the consent of the FCA. Binance Markets Ltd. was also required in the ruling to display clearly on its website and any promotional material that such a decision had been made against them.
- It is not only in the U.K. that Binance is experiencing this level of regulatory heat. Italy’s securities regulator recently found that Binance was “not authorized to provide investment services and activities.” Similar investigations and regulatory action against Binance are also taking place in the United States, Japan and the Cayman Islands.
- Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao recently reiterated the company’s intention to cooperate with regulators, saying: “The message is very loud and clear that regulators want to regulate the space heavily now. So I think from our perspective for Binance, we really have to make a big pivot from a technology startup into a financial services company.” Zhao also recognized he, as a technical-minded person, might not be the best person to lead the company going forward as it seeks to pivot to meet global regulatory requirements.