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Rapid Response Team: 0800 559 3500
Switchboard: +44 (0)203 947 1539
Rapid Response Team: 0800 559 3500
Switchboard: +44 (0)203 947 1539

Cryptoassets Firms and The Financial Conduct Authority

Author: Syedur Rahman  16 June 2020

Syedur Rahman of Rahman Ravelli outlines cryptoassets firms’ obligation to register with the FCA before the end of this month.

Since January 10 this year, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has been the anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (AML/CTF) supervisor of UK cryptoasset businesses, under the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing, and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017, as amended (MLRs).

As part of this new regime, firms who were operating before January 10, 2020 must be fully registered with the FCA by January 10, 2021. To ensure that it can process all applications by then, the FCA has set a deadline of June 30, 2020 for firms to submit their application. Firms that fail to meet this deadline will have to stop both taking on new customers and servicing their current customers. It will be a criminal offence to continue to trade without having made an application.

The application requires each firm to supply the FCA with:

  • its AML policy and procedures
  • its regulatory business plan
  • financial forecasts
  • its programme of operations
  • details of its structural organisation, systems and controls and individuals within it
  • any beneficial owners
  • procedures for governance and internal control mechanisms. 

If the FCA has not completed its assessment of a firm by January 2021 then the firm will have to cease trading. With the FCA’ registration system now requiring firms’ involvement, banks will be examining the FCA registers in January next year to ensure that firms are on it. If a firm is not listed, banks will consider it to be operating illegally and will close accounts with no notice period being given.

This article was also featured on Lexology.com.

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Syedur Rahman is known for his in-depth experience of serious fraud, white-collar crime and serious crime cases, as well as his expertise in worldwide asset tracing and recovery, international arbitration, civil recovery, cryptocurrency and high-stakes commercial disputes.

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