Ashley Alder, the new head of the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), says crypto firms are “deliberately evasive” and facilitating money laundering, and calls for more regulation.
In a virtual meeting on Wednesday, Alder told members of the UK Treasury that many crypto platforms are “deliberately evasive”, facilitating money laundering and creating “massively unwanted risks”, according to a Financial Times report. .
Alder currently heads the Securities & Futures Commission in Hong Kong and is expected to become FCA chairman in February. His recent comments suggest that crypto companies looking to do business in the UK will struggle.
“Our previous experience with [Krypto-]Platforms, whether it’s FTX or not, is that they’re intentionally dodging, that’s one way money laundering happens on a large scale,” he reportedly said, adding that the way crypto firms do “a whole bunch of activities that are normally separate… leads to massive ‘unwanted risks’ such as conflicts of interest.
“I think that you [Krypto] should be regulated more,” he said.
The FCA is a financial regulator in the UK responsible for regulating the financial services industry in order to protect consumers, maintain industry stability and encourage healthy competition between financial service providers.
The regulator has traditionally taken a tough stance on crypto companies, rejecting 80% of crypto companies that have applied to be included in the regulator’s register of companies that have passed their anti-money laundering audits.
Meanwhile, the UK government has finalized plans that would give the regulator broader powers to regulate crypto markets, including overseeing the advertising, sales practices and management of crypto businesses, supervising business operations, restricting the sale of foreign businesses to the UK market. and more.
The move comes after the unprecedented collapse of FTX, once the third-largest cryptocurrency exchange, collapsed in early November, leaving retail customers in billions of dollars in losses.
Sam Bankman-Fried, the disgraced founder of the stock exchange, was arrested by the Bahamian government on Monday after US attorneys formally filed criminal charges against him. The Southern District of New York, the Department of Justice and the SEC have charged SBF with various criminal charges.
As noted, Senator Elizabeth Warren has teamed up with Republican Senator Roger Marshall of Kansas to introduce a bipartisan bill aimed at closing the money laundering loopholes in the crypto industry. Separately, the G20 countries plan to create policy consensus on cryptocurrencies to better regulate the asset class.