Binance Said to Be Hiring ‘UK Version of Brian Brooks’

Binance is attempting to hire a former regulator or government official in the U.K. in order to lend the brand some compliance clout as pressure mounts against the global cryptocurrency exchange operator, according to two people familiar with the plans.

Binance is looking to hire “a U.K. version of Brian Brooks,” one of the people told CoinDesk, referring to the former U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) regulator who was brought in to run Binance.US in April of this year.

Meanwhile, Binance announced on Tuesday it was bolstering its compliance team with the hire of a new director of compliance, Jonathan Farnell, who joins from eToro, where he served in senior compliance roles. 

According to his LinkedIn profile, Farnell has been in his new position at Binance for the past three months but the firm did not announce him immediately due to internal policies, according to a Binance spokesperson. The spokesperson added that long-serving U.K. head of compliance Lynn McConnell’s role is unaffected by Farnell’s arrival. 

A regulatory compliance net appears to be closing on Binance, which has seen a recent string of knock-backs from regulatory authorities in jurisdictions such as Singapore, Malta, the Cayman Islands and Thailand. 

Read more: Thailand SEC Files Criminal Complaint Against Binance

Last month the U.K. regulator the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced that Binance was not allowed to conduct any regulated activities in the country. Earlier this week, British bank Barclays said it was blocking customers from using its debit and credit cards to make payments to Binance. 

Binance was reported to be under investigation by U.S. authorities by Bloomberg in May of this year. Those federal agencies, which also included the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), had not accused Binance of any wrongdoing at that time, Bloomberg reported.