The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the UK Regulator, has established a Temporary Registration Regime that will allow existing crypto-asset firms, who have applied to be registered with the FCA, to continue trading in the UK financial market.
From 10 January 2020, the FCA became the anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (AML/CTF) supervisor for crypto firms, involving firms that exchange money to and from crypto assets and those that safeguard their customers crypto assets. From this date, ‘existing crypto-asset businesses’ (i.e. firms operating immediately before 10 January 2020) had to comply with the Money Laundering Regulations; such firms were required to be registered with the FCA by 10 January 2021.
This is related to the Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (Directive (EU) 2018/843). The Directive is the first EU legislation regulating crypto which obliges the EU Member States to enforce fiat-to-crypto exchanges and custodian wallet providers to have appropriate procedures and policies preventing money-laundering and terrorist financing.
Existing Firm requirements
The Temporary Registration Regime is for existing crypto-asset businesses that have applied for registration before 16 December 2020, and whose applications are still being assessed by the FCA. These firms will be able to continue to trade from 9 January 2021 until 9 July 2021, pending the FCA’s review of their application.
Any firms not submitting an application by 15 December 2020 will not be eligible for the temporary registration regime.
New firm requirements
New businesses (who began operating after 10 January 2020), are required to obtain full registration with the FCA before conducting business.
Can we help?
If you are having difficulty understanding the requirements, please reach out to the team at MEMA for further clarification on the next steps.