The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the main financial regulator in the United Kingdom, has issued a warning to the Bahamas-based crypto exchange FTX, stating that it is operating without a license. The company joined the ranks of unregistered cryptocurrency-related businesses that weighed more than those registered with the FCA.
A warning note, dated September 16, says the firm “may offer financial services or products in the UK without a licence”. When contacting potential customers, the FCA explained that they cannot get their money back or seek the protection of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme “if things go wrong.”
At the end of August, the list of crypto companies registered by the FCA included 37 entities, with Crypto.com the latest to join it. Other firms that have been able to go through the registration process to gain approval of the Money Laundering Regulations in 2022 are eToro UK, DRW Global Markets LTD, Zodia Markets (UK) Limited, Uphold Europe Limited, Rubicon Digital UK Limited and Wintermute Trading LTD.
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New cryptocurrency-focused rules were introduced in January 2020 to allow the FCA to regulate businesses operating in the space and enforce AML and anti-terrorist financing regulations. As an FCA spokesperson explained to Cointelegraph in August:
“Successful registration depends on meeting the minimum standards we expect to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing, and we’ve seen too many financial crime red flags disappear with crypto asset businesses seeking registration.”
Although there is no clear understanding of what the immediate consequences will be for non-registered entities, the FCA is certainly no vegetarian when it comes to enforcement. On September 13, ePayments, one of the largest electronic payment providers in the UK, closed its business three years after receiving an order from the FCA due to weaknesses in its “financial crime controls”.
It’s not the first time FTX has caught the attention of regulators. In the year On August 19, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) issued a cease-and-desist letter to the company, alleging that it had misled people insured by the FDIC with certain cryptocurrency-related products.