The UK’s main financial regulator has released a warning consumers that the Bahamas-based FTX crypto exchange is not licensed to offer any financial services or products in the country.
In a note last week, the Financial Conduct Authority said FTX was “targeting people in the UK” with its products, warning consumers to be wary of dealing with the firm. He added that if consumers invested with FTX, they wouldn’t have access to protections like the Financial Ombudsman Service, which resolves complaints between consumers and companies that provide financial services, or the country’s Financial Services Compensation Scheme. , which reimburses consumers when a financial firm can’t pay a claim.
A spokesperson for FTX told Bloomberg that the warning appears to have been triggered by a scammer posing as the crypto exchange, noting that the phone numbers listed in the FCA warning are incorrect.
“We are studying the issue and communicating with the regulators; we believe a scammer is impersonating FTX,” the spokesperson said. “The phone numbers listed by the FCA are not from FTX and are listed as a crypto scam.”
FTX did not immediately respond to Fortunerequest for comment.
The FCA actively enforced the rules against crypto industry players despite previous statements by senior government officialsincluding the country’s former economic secretary to the Treasury, in favor of industry.
Last year, the FCA issued a notice similar to FTX warning consumers to the most popular crypto exchange in the world, Binance. Earlier this year, the regulatory agency also issued a memo warn all crypto ATM companies operating in the UK that they were doing so illegally. Binance and FTX crypto exchanges are still available to UK consumers.
FCA’s warning to FTX comes as Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler took a sharper tone on cryptocurrencies. Crypto companies have called for more regulatory guidelines and accused the US agency of regulating by enforcement, instead of creating clear rules.
Gensler said in a speech to the Practicing Law Institute earlier this month that existing securities rules should apply to cryptocurrencies, despite claims from industry advocates the rules are misinterpreted.
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