Bitfinex has recently come under scrutiny. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) raised concerns about the cryptocurrency exchange today (Friday), warning investors of potential risks associated with it. The regulator stated that Bitfinex may be promoting financial services or products without its permission.

Finance Magnates contacted Bitfinex for comments. However, at the time of this publication, a representative from the company had not responded to the inquiry.

“If you deal with this firm, you won’t have access to the Financial Ombudsman Service if you have a complaint,” the financial watchdog cautioned. “You also won’t be protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme if things go wrong.”

In the official statement, the FCA highlighted three major problems in the marketing of crypto assets. First, it stated that many promotions boast about the “safety,” “security,” and “ease” of using crypto services without adequately addressing the associated risks.

Bitfinex / https://t.co/YHKH4P6PQA https://t.co/kyKZTJX2ua

— Jared Loptany Kirui (@JaredLopta79285) October 27, 2023

This lack of transparency is a cause for concern as it may mislead potential investors. Secondly, risk warnings are often obscured by small fonts or non-prominent positioning, making it easy for consumers to overlook critical information about the risks involved in crypto investments.

In response to these issues, the FCA urged companies that approve financial promotions for crypto firms to strictly adhere to regulatory guidelines. Failure to do so can result in actions such as restrictions being placed on the offending firm. For instance, the FCA has already imposed restrictions on a firm for not meeting the required standards in approving crypto asset promotions.

Strict Adherence to Regulatory Guidelines

In September, the FCA issued its final warning in relation to the recently implemented financial promotion rules. This warning, authored by Lucy Castledine, the Director of Consumer Investment, and Matthew Long, the Director of Payments and Digital Assets, emphasized the need for firms to urgently reconsider their position if they believe they will be in breach of the new regulations.

The FCA underlined that the new regulatory regime is not meant to hinder consumer access to existing assets but is aimed at preventing high-risk investment activity and promoting consumer protection.

FCA Regulations

10 Points to Abide by the New Rules

The financial promotion regime is expansive, encompassing communications made through websites or apps. Most, if not all, crypto asset firms offering services to UK consumers are expected to fall under this new regulation. The regime’s core objective is to ensure consumers base their investment decisions on accurate information.

Firms that fail to comply with the new regime face severe consequences, including criminal charges. Penalties may include imprisonment of up to two years, unlimited fines, or both.

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