LONDON: Despite initially failing to obtain a license to operate in the UK, cryptocurrency firms have been deterred and have filed new applications, the Financial Conduct Authority said on Thursday.
The FCA has been criticized by lawmakers and the cryptocurrency industry for being slow to process license applications and rejecting a large number of applicants, despite the UK government’s push to make London a global cryptocurrency hub. I came.
Sheldon Mills, FCA’s executive director of competition and consumer affairs, told the City & Financial conference, “While some companies were denied licenses on the first pass, many cryptocurrency companies have obtained licenses here in the UK. It’s no surprise that we still see them trying.”
“They know we have a good regulatory system and whether they meet our standards is important to all jurisdictions looking to file around the world.” Mills said.
“This is good for the UK economy and the UK financial services industry, good for competition, inward investment and growth.”
Cryptocurrency companies are under scrutiny by the FCA for their ability to deter their businesses from being used for money laundering and terrorist financing.
In March, the FCA said 90% of cryptocurrency companies seeking anti-money laundering approval had their applications withdrawn or denied because they failed to meet the criteria.
According to Mills, 95 people have been recruited to Watchdog’s licensing team, reducing the number of pending cases by 40%.
“Over time, we expect faster and better decisions to help reduce costs in the regulatory system,” Mills said.
Jean-Marie Mognetti, CEO of crypto asset management firm CoinShares, said the UK and the FCA were “not very enthusiastic” about seeing crypto companies in London, so EU member Sweden said it chose to go public.
Mognetti said the European Union’s new “MiCA” rule to fully license cryptocurrency companies would give the EU an advantage over the UK.
“If you talk about attraction from regulated behavior, [perspective]the fact that London is not part of MiCA and does not have a passport in Europe … would be a huge handicap,” Mognetti said.
Under a bill currently before parliament, the UK will license stablecoins, but leave the rest of the crypto industry to a later date.
https://www.channelnewsasia.com/business/uk-watchdog-dismisses-criticisms-over-crypto-authorisations-2974091 UK Watchdog Dismisses Criticism of Crypto Approval