UK financial watchdog adds bitcoin ATMs to unregistered crypto business list as part of AML push


A leader at the United Kingdom's Financial Conduct Authority spotlighted the country's recent anti-money laundering work (AML) in a recent speech.

In a speech delivered on March 24 but publicized on April 1, Mark Steward cited cryptocurrency as a key emerging risk to AML controls. Steward heads the FCA's Enforcement and Market Oversight division. In January, the FCA formally took charge of AML in crypto businesses.

Part of the FCA's response has been to create a new version of its Warning List specifically for crypto businesses. The "Unregistered Cryptoasset Businesses" list, which began on March 9, has grown in size since its inception. In his speech, Steward specified:

"We placed the first names on the Unregistered Cryptocurrency Businesses List earlier this month, all crypto ATM firms, and we have just added 29 crypto custodian wallet providers to the list."

As previously reported by The Block, crypto firms in the UK have endeavored to meet compliance demands in the UK since the beginning of the year. At its heart, the unregistered business list aims to penalize firms that fail to obtain registration.

Steward said of the FCA's role that "we do not regulate or supervise the cryptocurrency business, these firms are required to be registered with the FCA and they are required to comply with the Money Laundering Regulations."

The FCA's current UCB list includes 53 companies. Curiously, the list features more than a dozen firms registered to just two addresses. 20-22 Wenlock Road, London and Kemp House 152-160 City Road, London were the formal home of nine and five crypto businesses, respectively, included on the FCA list. Those addresses belong to two corporate formation firms, MadeSimple and Capital Office.

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Aug 11, 2021, 5:18PM UTC