UK’s FCA declares war on rogue crypto ATMs


  • The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is cracking down on illegal crypto ATMs, targeting unauthorized machines that pose money laundering risks.
  • Inspections have been conducted in Exeter, Nottingham, Sheffield, Leeds, and East London, with the FCA working alongside regional police forces.
  • No crypto ATM operators are currently registered with the FCA, which is a requirement for legal operation in the UK.

UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is intensifying its efforts to combat the proliferation of illegal crypto ATMs across the country.

In a recent crackdown, the FCA has conducted inspections in Exeter, Nottingham, and Sheffield in collaboration with regional police forces, targeting unauthorized crypto ATMs, which are considered to pose significant money laundering risks.

FCA aims to stop illegal activity

According to Therese Chambers, the FCA’s Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight, “Crypto ATMs operating without FCA registration are illegal. We will act to stop illegal activity.”

Although the FCA is currently reviewing the evidence obtained from the recent inspections, it has not yet specified any further actions that may be taken. These latest raids follow similar enforcement actions in Leeds and East London announced in March.

CoinATMRadar website data shows that there are 17 crypto ATMs in the UK. However, the FCA claims that none of the approximately 40 registered crypto companies are authorized to offer such services.

The inspections were conducted as part of a joint operation involving the South West Regional Organised Crime Unit, Yorkshire and Humber Regional Organised Crime Unit, and the Nottinghamshire Police Force.

Chambers stated that the actions taken over the past few months, as well as broader initiatives, demonstrate the FCA’s commitment to stopping illegal activity and raising public awareness of unregistered crypto ATMs in the UK.

Peter Highway, Economic Crime Unit Manager at the South West Regional Organised Crime Unit (SWROCU), emphasized that criminals use crypto ATMs to launder illicitly obtained cash.

Consequently, the SWROCU was eager to assist the FCA in targeting businesses displaying unauthorized machines in the region.

Ramona Senior, Head of Economic Crime at the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Organised Crime Unit (YH ROCU), added that unregulated crypto ATMs play a crucial role in facilitating money laundering and the movement of funds acquired through criminal activities.

No registered crypto ATM operators

Crypto ATMs enable users to purchase or convert money into crypto assets. However, no crypto ATM operators are currently registered with the FCA, which is a requirement for legal operation in the UK.

The FCA is collaborating with the National Economic Crime Centre to plan and coordinate actions with law enforcement partners regarding the operators of illegal crypto ATMs.

The recent actions in Exeter, Nottingham, and Sheffield follow earlier enforcement actions in Leeds and East London.

Upon reviewing the evidence gathered during these visits, the FCA may consider taking further action as necessary. The FCA has previously warned crypto ATM operators in the UK to shut down their machines or face enforcement action.

Furthermore, the FCA regularly reminds consumers that crypto assets are unregulated and high-risk, meaning that individuals are highly unlikely to have any protection if things go wrong.

Crypto asset exchange providers, including crypto ATM operators, must be registered with the FCA and comply with UK Money Laundering Regulations.

The FCA has used its investigative powers under the Money Laundering Regulations 2017 to carry out these visits and maintains a list of businesses it suspects are operating without authorization.

Disclaimer: The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decision.

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Jai Hamid

Jai Hamid is a passionate writer with a keen interest in blockchain technology, the global economy, and literature. She dedicates most of her time to exploring the transformative potential of crypto and the dynamics of worldwide economic trends.

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