The United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has urged crypto businesses in the country to submit their applications by the end of June, the financial watchdog said in a press release on 22 June.
According to the announcement, although the grace period for registration ends on 10 January 2021, the regulator wishes to have more than six months to ensure that all applications are processed. Businesses that fail to register with the FCA by the end of the grace period will have to cease all activity in the UK.
The FCA said:
“The 30 June date allows the FCA to review submitted applications and raise any follow-up questions with firms, with enough time for that process to be completed before 10 January 2021.”
Firms in the U.K. were first told to register with the regulator back in January, shortly after the FCA was appointed as the direct regulator for crypto businesses in the country. The FCA is now responsible for ensuring that all crypto-related businesses follow the new Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Terrorism Financing (CTF) compliance requirements. In order to eliminate any potential AML and CTF threats, businesses in the country will have to establish both monitoring and control systems.
Even traditional businesses that are already authorized to deal with crypto assets, under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, Electronic Money Regulations 2011 or Payment Services Regulations 2017, will have to submit their registration application with the regulator.
The regulator also warned:
“The FCA will proactively supervise firms’ compliance with the new regulations, and will take swift action where firms fall short of desired standards.”
The actions taken by the FCA this year are part of an effort to improve the country’s regulatory environment, and bring it on the same level with the global standards defined by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The goal is to cut down on potential money laundering and terrorism financing routs, which have been enabled by the anonymity that some cryptocurrencies provide.