FCA Assumes New Supervisory Role for UK Crypto Assets

The new requirements focus on the identification and assessment of risks of money laundering and terrorist financing.

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is poised to take a larger role in crypto matters, having assumed new supervisory roles with regards to crypto assets.

The FCA has consistently remained at the forefront of most regulatory edicts, with the jurisdiction clamping down on problematic operations and practices over the past year via several warnings and policies.

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The latest move will see the FCA become both the AML and CTF supervisor of UK crypto asset activities.

As such, any and all businesses in the UK engaging in crypto activities will be grandfathered into this regime and fall under the scope of its jurisdiction.

Consequently, the FCA will require all crypto asset businesses to adhere to several new preventative measures and policies aimed at curbing abuse.

The move is hardly groundbreaking given the propensity for abuse in the crypto space, which to date, has served as a very vulnerable industry.

FCA launches new requirements for crypto businesses

The new requirements center first and foremost on the identification and assessment of the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing.

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Historically speaking, these are pain points for all crypto operations, given its mercurial nature, relative to traditional means of finance.

Moreover, the FCA will also stipulate, where appropriate, the appointment of an individual who is a member of the board or senior management to be responsible for compliance with the MLRs.

This also includes the undertaking of customer due diligence when entering into a business relationship or occasional transactions.

Emphasis will be placed on customers who may present a higher money laundering and/or terrorist finance risk.

More information regarding these changes can be found on the FCA’s site, with the regulator looking to make an immediate splash with the new compliance.

Per the group’s website, existing businesses already conducting crypto-asset activity before January 10, 2020, may continue their business but will need to ensure their compliance with the MLRs with immediate effect.

To ensure this deadline is met, these businesses must submit a completed application for registration via Connect by June 2020.

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