UK FCA proposes changes to include cryptocurrency companies in AML reporting

Regulators in the UK, through their experience, are slowly trying to set rules for the cryptocurrency industry.

The UK has expanded its control over cryptocurrencies

Politicians in England are increasingly focusing on whether crypto assets should be regulated to protect investors from inappropriate products and try to curb fraudulent activity. Back in January, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the UK’s financial watchdog, issued a statement on the rules for cryptocurrency businesses in the country.

In its statement, the regulator stressed the importance of complying with anti-money laundering (AML) regulations and maintaining the know-your-customer (KYC) method for crypto businesses.  In addition to this, the FCA has now proposed that its anti-money laundering reporting requirements in its financial crime controls include crypto exchanges, as well as cryptocurrency custodians and wallet providers, to further strengthen AML protection.

The duty to report financial crimes was first introduced in 2016 for some businesses. The obligations required these businesses to submit an annual report on financial crimes based on:

1. type of firm, regardless of the income threshold (for example, banks, building societies, investment consultants, and other financial firms)

2. type of activity and total annual income of 5 million pounds or more (for example, intermediaries, e-money institutions and consumer credit firms).

Among the two new proposals, the first targets businesses and institutions that the FCA considers a high risk of money laundering. These businesses are under the direct supervision of the 2017 anti-money laundering, terrorist financing and money transfer (payer information) regulator (MLR).

The second proposal directly affects businesses that exchange virtual money or crypto assets or organize their exchange, as they will need to submit updated reports to do so. These are new categories of firms that will now be on the FCA’s radar.

The new offer comes a few months after the July announcement by HM Treasury, which plans to give the FCA “greater oversight of ads placed by unauthorized businesses promoting cryptocurrencies.

At the moment, the Agency is waiting for comments on its proposal until November 23, 2020.

The legal field should not hinder the integration of the crypt.

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