Beleaguered Binance Loses Another Chief Executive From its UK Office – What’s Going On?
Binance’s UK chief Jonathan Farnell who is also the CEO of a subsidiary Bifinity, has resigned from the company, adding to a slew of executive departures in recent times.
His departure comes a week after the world’s largest crypto exchange announced suspending new customer registrations in the UK, following a crackdown on crypto promotions from the country’s regulator the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Binance has so far seen a slew of top officials resigning from the exchange amid mounting issues including the severe regulatory crackdown by the United States SEC and in the UK. Last week, Stéphanie Cabossioras stepped down from her position as managing director at the crypto exchange’s French unit.
According to Farnell’s LinkedIn profile, he left Binance in late September, after playing a key role in the company’s efforts to establish as a regulated entity in the UK.
“We’d like to thank Jonathan for his contributions and wish him all the best on his next challenge,” a spokesperson from the exchange noted.
Farnell spearheaded the compliance department at the trading platform eToro, prior to joining Binance in 2021. He also co-founded FCA-regulated Arro Money which was later acquired by the eToro Group.
In March 2022, Farnell was appointed as the chief of Bifinity, a fiat-to-crypto payments entity by Binance.
Binance’s Fall in the UK
UK’s FCA has been maintaining strict crypto regulations, with 145 crypto businesses added to its expanded list of unauthorized firms. The new FCA rules to tighten crypto promotions went into effect on October 8, mandating all firms to comply with the financial promotion regime.
Early this month, the regulator blocked Binance’s promotional partner Rebuildingsociety.com from approving crypto promotions in the region, creating an additional layer of hurdle for Binance as it aims to expand its presence in the country.
As a result, Binance temporarily halted new UK users while it searches for a new FCA-authorized partner to approve its crypto promotions.
The FCA-Binance face-off began in June 2021, when the regulator banned the exchange from carrying out any regulated activity in the UK. The notice was coupled with a warning to consumers on investing in cryptoassets generally, reminding them to be wary of promotions promising high returns on crypto-related investments.
Later in March 2022, the FCA again raised concerns over Binance’s tie-up with UK’s crypto firm Eqonex, through its entity Bifinity. Eqonex is the parent company of an FCA-registered entity named Digivault.