Binance adds former FCA, FINRA regulators to compliance team

abdelaziz Fathi

Binance had appointed former regulators from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), part of an attempt to undo regulatory red flags and reinvent itself as a regulated financial firm.

Binance

Steven McWhirter, former head of the strategy and engagement at the FCA, joins Binance in the newly-created role of the Director of Regulatory Policy. He lands at the crypto giant after nine years with the UK prominent watchdog. Overall, he brings nearly two decades of experience as a financial services supervisor.

During his time at the FCA, Steven participated in multiple policy working groups focused on the UK, EU, and other countries, including the FCA’s crypto guidance. As such, he should help the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange with its filing for a license from Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority.

Binance CEO also revealed that they have established a UK office and expanded its regulatory compliance manpower and advisory board with a number of local ex-regulatory staff.

“My efforts will support Binance by ensuring that the regulatory global compliance is enhanced in tandem with crypto and blockchain innovation. Leading Binance’s regulatory policy team will allow me to leverage my experience as a former conduct regulator to create a sustainable crypto ecosystem with consumer protection and market integrity at its heart,” Steven said.

Binance has also onboarded Finra’s long-serving exec Seth Levy as Head of Market Surveillance. He will be tasked with building a surveillance infrastructure that is tailored to address risk associated with trading digital assets worldwide. Seth brings over two decades of experience in security, risk management, and user protection.

Binance expanded its compliance staff

Prior to landing at Binance, Levy spent more than five years at Citadel as the Global Head of Surveillance, and 16 years at FINRA. During his long stint at FINRA, he held senior roles culminating with the position of the senior director of trading analysis within the Market Regulation Department.

He is supposed to help optimize Binance’s offering at a time when the exchange is running into regulatory controversy after controversy. For the better part of 2021, Binance has encountered an abundance of issues with financial services regulators around the world.

Commenting on the new hires, Binance CEO CZ said: “Steven and Seth joining our global compliance team is not only a huge boost to Binance, but also the broader crypto and blockchain industry, as we continue to lead the sector by working collaboratively with regulators, policymakers, and industry leaders to grow the ecosystem responsibly and sustainably.”

Binance has been on a recent hiring spree, having expanded its regulatory compliance staff and advisory board by 500%. The new hires included former US Treasury criminal investigator Greg Monahan as its money laundering reporting officer, a former DFSA executive as its chief regulatory liaison and ex-senator Max Baucus as policy and government relations adviser.

The exchange giant also added compliance veteran Jonathan Farnell alongside two former executives of the intergovernmental organization Financial Action Task Force.

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