The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is continuing its efforts to address the issue of illegally-operating cryptocurrency ATMs in the UK. Recently, the agency conducted an enforcement action in East London, following a similar operation it carried out in Leeds last month.
United Kingdom’s financial regulator, Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) takes action against suspected unregistered #crypto ATM operators.
“Crypto businesses operating in the UK need to be registered with the FCA for anti-money laundering purposes", says the regulator.
— Bolix Media (@BolixMedia) February 14, 2023
The regulator, after conducting a investigation together with the Metropolitan Police, will review all the evidence available before taking any further action. Mark Steward, Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight, professed that these recent measures serve as a stern reminder to any illegal crypto firms operating in the country.
Recent Collaborations to bring Order in Crypto
Last month, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) joined forces with West Yorkshire Police’s Digital Intelligence and Investigation Unit to carry out similar raids in Leeds. In March 2022, the FCA declared crypto ATMs illegal due to money laundering risks, meaning none of these machines in the country have approval from the regulator. It is important to remember that crypto assets are not subject to regulation and may pose a high degree of risk, as investors could ultimately lose all of their capital from such investments.
The FCA is also collaborating with the National Economic Crime Centre to devise a plan of action, in unison with law enforcement partners, to target operators of illegal crypto ATMs. Furthermore, crypto exchanges are required to be registered with the FCA and adhere to anti-money laundering standards in order to lawfully operate in the region.
FCA Taking Action
In December, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) appointed Ashley Alder as their new head, who presented his stance towards the larger crypto business during his testimony before the Treasury Select Committee. Alder highlighted the possibility of a confrontation between the authorities and crypto firms operating there, citing his findings of crypto platforms to be deliberately elusive.
In an official letter dated January 19 to the Treasury Select Committee, Sarah Pritchard, the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) executive director of markets supervision, reported that a few instances of potential financial crime or direct links to organized crime have been identified and the relevant law enforcement agencies have been notified.