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Crypto exchange executive joins the FMA

The Financial Markets Authority has hired London-based Daniel Trinder as its new role of executive director of strategy and design.

Monday, March 13th 2023, 3:23PM

Trinder, who starts in June, has spent the last 11 months as VP of government affairs and policy Europe, Middle East and North Africa for Binance; the world’s biggest crypto exchange. Apart from Binance he has held senior global roles at Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs.

Last year Trinder was one of a number of senior crypto industry figures grilled by the UK treasury committee over Binance’s role in the failure of FTX in November.

Binance had signed a letter of intent for financial due diligence before a possible takeover of the ailing rival exchange but then withdrew the offer. Two days later FTX filed for bankruptcy.

Trinder told UK MPs that Binance founder and chief executive Changpeng Zhao wasn’t responsible for the collapse of FTX and that while Zhao was approached to rescue FTX, she decided to pull out after due diligence showed “something very wrong”.

He also said the incident, which sent shockwaves through the crypto market and wiped billions of its value, had “set the industry back a couple of years.” He added that cryptocurrency firms must make information about their market simpler for investors, and a collective effort is needed to educate regulators to act as effective watchdogs of the sector.

Binance has had a contentious relationship with regulators. Since 2020 crypto exchanges in the UK have had to register with the Financial Conduct Authority and comply with its anti-money laundering rules to serve UK clients. In 2021 Binance had its licence to operate in the UK withdrawn with the FCA saying the exchange could not be regulated and posed a risk to UK consumers.Binance continued to service UK-based clients through binance.com.

Binance is not the only crypto exchange which has failed to gain FCA registration. This year the FCA revealed it has received 300 applications from prospective crypto firms since 2020 but only 41 have been approved. Crypto firms blame a lack of knowledge around digital currency for the delays. In the meantime the FCA has announced a proposed framework for crypto regulations.

In his new role on the other side of the regulatory fence, Trinder will be Wellington-based, leading the design and execution of the market watchdog’s strategic focus. He will be responsible for functional teams comprising, economic-based analytics, research and insights, strategy and planning, policy, and external relations and communications.

The appointment almost completes the FMA’s leadership restructure and creation of six new leader roles, which was announced by FMA CEO Samantha Barrass last year. Three of the roles were filled internally straight away, while ex-IRD deputy commissioner for customer and compliance services Sharon Thompason was appointed director of transformation and operational delivery in January. An executive director for te ao Māori is still to be announced.

Barrass says in setting the design for the FMA’s strategic direction, Trinder’s experience will enhance its use of economic insights, data and intelligence, policy expertise, and how it communicates its purpose to stakeholders.

Trinder has more than 25 year’s experience in strategy, policy and regulatory affairs including at the HM Treasury in the UK, the IMF, international investment banking firms, as an advisor to central banks and international organisations.

He has an MA in economics from York University, Toronto, and a PhD in economics from Queen Mary University of London, where he is also an honorary professor. He has extensive experience in developing and delivering strategic direction, capability and planning, implementing policy and legislative changes, while leading successful and diverse teams at a global level.

Tags: FMA

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