From 10 January 2020, FCA 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(link is external), as amended (MLRs).
The MLRs apply to businesses in a range of sectors at risk of facilitating money laundering or terrorist financing, including approximately 19,500 firms including banks, building societies and credit unions supervised by us. From 10 January 2020, businesses carrying on certain cryptoasset activities will be in scope of these regulations. It was announced in July 2019 that FCA will be the AML/CTF supervisor for businesses carrying on cryptoasset activities in scope of the MLRs.
AML/CTF risks from cryptoasset activities have been identified both domestically and at an international level. The steps being taken to address them include:
- The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) made changes to its recommendations in response to the increasing use of virtual assets for money laundering and terrorist financing, extending its Global AML Standards to cover virtual assets.
- The EU’s 5th Money Laundering Directive (5MLD), which Member States will have to bring into national legislation by 10 January 2020. The UK are doing so through amendment to the MLRs.
- The UK Cryptoasset Taskforce were required to look at the broader cryptoassets approach. Its final report , published in October 2018, highlighted evidence of increased risks from the use of cryptoassets for illicit activity, as well as risks to consumers and markets. The report states that that mitigating these risks should be the most immediate priority for the Government and financial regulators.
Scope of cryptoasset activities
The Treasury has not yet published its response to the consultation on 5MLD .
The Treasury consultation intends to cover the activities specified in 5MLD and a wider range of activities recommended by FATF.
The cryptoasset activities consulted on in April 2019 are listed below and cryptoasset businesses carrying out the activities listed below should assume they must comply with the MLRs from 10 January 2020, although Treasury may decide to reduce or extend the range of activities FCA oversee.
This page will be updated when Treasury publishes its Policy Statement.