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FCA issues key instructions for crypto businesses ahead of EU’s 5AMLD deadline

Mon, 04 Nov 2019, 05:59 am UTC

UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published key information for cryptoasset-related businesses ahead of the implementation of the European Union’s Fifth Money Laundering Directive (5AMLD) in early 2020, Finextra reported.

In an online post dated Oct. 25, the FCA said:

“From 10 January 2020, we will be the anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing (AML/CTF) supervisor of UK cryptoasset businesses under the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017, as amended (MLRs).”

As such, the regulator said that cryptoasset businesses must comply with the MLRs from 10 January 2020. However, as the HM Treasury has not yet published its response to the consultation on 5MLD, the FCA said that the range of activities currently under its regulatory purview will be updated once the policy statement is published by the Treasury.

The list currently covers a number of services related to cryptoassets including exchange services, Automated Teller Machine (ATM), wallets, peer-to-peer providers, issuers of new cryptoassets, and publication of open-source software.

“We understand, subject to confirmation from Treasury, that the publication of open-source software is unlikely to feature in the Government’s envisaged approach, recognising that AML/CTF regulation should be carried out on an activities-basis only,” it clarified.

Furthermore, all UK cryptoasset businesses carrying on activities in scope of the MLRs will need to register with the FCA from 10 January 2020. Existing cryptoasset business are being given a grace period of a year for registration, allowing them to “register by 10 January 2021 or stop all cryptoasset activity.”

For new cryptoasset businesses, the FCA said that they “must be registered before they can carry on the activity” after January 10, 2020.

“We are seeking a 3-month period to make registration assessments, through an amendment to the MLRs. The 3-month period will begin once we decide that the application is complete and it meets the conditions for registration,” it added.

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