The Financial Conduct Authority [FCA] had taken up the task of supervising crypto businesses to ensure that they comply with the AML laws. In a bid to achieve the same, the Financial watchdog of the United Kingdom has asked businesses to register with it by 15 December 2020. According to a recent update, it has not been able to assess and register all firms that had applied for registration.
The FCA stated the reason for the delay was the complexity and standard applications received, and the pandemic restrictions on office visits. Due to the delay it faced, the FCA has established a temporary registration regime to allow trading for firms that are still awaiting assessment. Under these provisions, businesses will be able to exist and trade from 9 January 2021 until 9 July 2021, as the FCA reviews its application.
It further noted:
“Firms that did not submit an application by 15 December 2020 will not be eligible for the temporary registration regime. They will need to return cryptoassets to customers and stop trading by 10 January 2021. Firms that do not stop trading by that date are at risk of being subject to the FCA’s criminal and civil enforcement powers.”
It has also warned consumers of crypto assets firms that have not submitted applications to register with it, in order to withdraw their assets or money before January 2021. These firms will be deemed illegal if it continues to trade and operate past the given date. It added:
“From 10 January 2020, the FCA became the anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing (AML/CTF) supervisor for these types of firms, which includes firms that exchange money to and from cryptoassets and those that safeguard their customers’ cryptoassets.”