Cryptocurrency exchange giant Binance has announced the hiring of a senior former official from the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as its global director of regulatory policy.
Steven McWhirter left the British regulator after a term of more than nine years, in which he held various positions related to fintech, according to a LinkedIn post on Friday (08). Most recently, he also served as Strategy and Engagement Manager in FCA's Data, Technology and Innovation division.
McWhirter had also contributed to the long-awaited UK Fintech Kalifa Review, commissioned by the British Chancellor to identify strategic areas of development in the cryptocurrency sector.
I was very fortunate in my time at FCA to be involved in many national, European and global policy initiatives and debates, particularly in relation to financial services technology regulation, where working with many major regulators, companies and global bodies gave me a place ringside during a fascinating period in policymaking,” McWhirter wrote on LinkedIn.
The appointment comes as Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao was recently seen courting an influential meeting of UK government officials in Westminster. McWhirter is the latest example of an employee formerly employed at a public entity, such as a central bank, government or regulatory body, going internally to a cryptocurrency company.
Earlier this week, according to The Block, the head of fintech at the Bank of England had left to join the custody platform Fireblocks. Last year, Austrian cryptocurrency exchange Bitpanda also hired former FCA employee Matthias Bauer-Langgartner as its managing director for the UK and Ireland. Alongside them, former UK Chancellor Philip Hammond also joined Copper as a senior adviser last year.
Despite the announcement, Binance did not give further details about McWhirter's arrival at the time of publishing this article.