- The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority has warned unregistered crypto firms.
- Despite extensive efforts by the FCA, only 24 out of over 150 firms responded to a survey.
- The FCA has also outlined expectations for businesses supporting unregistered crypto asset firms.
The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has warned unregistered crypto firms sternly, highlighting their apparent lack of engagement with the impending financial promotions regime. The regulatory body expressed significant concerns, particularly regarding overseas crypto asset firms catering to UK customers who would prefer to interact with the FCA.
The FCA revealed that, despite rigorous efforts, a mere 24 firms responded to a survey dispatched to over 150 firms. This lack of engagement raises serious questions about the readiness of unregistered firms to adhere to the new regime. Consequently, all crypto asset firms targeting UK consumers, including those based overseas, must align with the UK financial promotions’ regime by October 8.
The upcoming rules encompass crypto promotions across diverse media, including websites, social media, and online advertising. To remain compliant, unregistered crypto asset firms must secure approval for promotions from an FCA-authorized person. The FCA has outlined the necessary steps for firms to comply with the regime and elucidated the potential actions against non-compliant firms.
Moreover, the guidelines include a section on non-compliant crypto memes, which the regulator could deem as financial promotions. Firms failing to comply will likely violate section 21 of the UK’s Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, resulting in severe repercussions such as two years of imprisonment, unlimited fines, or both.
Additionally, the FCA has set clear expectations for businesses aiding unregistered crypto asset firms, including social media platforms, app stores, search engines, and payments firms. These entities are urged to understand the risks of supporting illegal promotions targeting UK consumers. The FCA emphasized the importance of adhering to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 obligations, warning that businesses supporting unregistered firms might be at risk of committing money laundering offenses under POCA.
The FCA’s concerns extend to intermediaries dealing with criminal property through fees generated by platforms hosting illegal financial promotions. Hence, the regulator emphasizes heightened awareness and compliance to avoid legal ramifications.
The FCA’s warning serves as a crucial reminder for UK businesses to meticulously consider their legal obligations and the potential risks associated with non-compliance. The regulatory body remains vigilant, ensuring that the evolving crypto market operates within the legal framework, protecting consumers from illegal financial promotions and maintaining the integrity of the financial market in the UK.
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