The United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has opened more than 300 cases related to crypto assets businesses ina the last six months, the regulator said in a press release on 3 March.
According to the announcement, the FCA has received 16,400 enquires about possible scams between April and September last year, most of which included cryptocurrency, boiler room, and recovery room scams. The regulator also noted that it has opened over 300 cases in the last six months connected to crypto businesses not registered with the FCA. The financial watchdog also noted that it currently has 50 ongoing investigations into unauthorised businesses, including criminal probes. The executive director of markets at the FCA, Sarah Pritchard, warned investors:
“Consumers need to have confidence when making investment decisions and the data we’ve published today shows how prevalent scams can be. Before investing, check you know who you are really dealing with, check if they are authorised by the FCA and do your research to understand the risks that might be posed.”
In order to protect U.K. investors, the FCA has developed a registry of crypto firms which have its authorisation to conduct business in the country. The financial watchdog, however, has been slow in adding new firms to the registry, which now lists 33 crypto firms registered with the FCA. The regulatory body has also approved temporary registrations for 22 crypto firms.
Back in January, the FCA also issued draft regulations that would tighten the rules around crypto product promotions, and limit them to sophisticated investors. The new rules are yet to be implemented — with the FCA accepting feedback from the public until 23 March — but a decision will be made sometime in the summer of 2022.