Latest FCA warning gives UK crypto firms one last chance to avoid prison

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has issued a final warning to crypto firms, urging them that if they don’t comply with upcoming regulations, the consequences will be severe.

The strongly worded letter, sent on Thursday, explains that unregistered crypto firms serving UK customers after October 8 must get all promotions approved. However, the FCA expressed serious concerns over the lack of communication by many of these crypto companies — particularly those operating overseas.

Despite “constructive and productive” discussions with “some firms,” many more have “refused to engage with the FCA” despite its best efforts. The FCA said that, as an example, only 24 firms out of 150 responded to a survey.

FCA is absolutely done being ghosted

Penalties for continuing to evade the UK’s financial regulator will be… unpleasant moving forward.

“We will take robust action where we identify that firms are communicating cryptoasset promotions in breach of the regime,” the FCA warned. This includes getting placed on a warning list and having all promotional content removed, including websites.

But wait! There’s more: failure to comply with the FCA will now result in up to two years in prison, an unlimited fine, or both, its letter emphasized.

And it’s not just crypto companies that fall under its gaze — social media platforms, app stores, and payments firms must also “play their part” in ensuring that illegal ads don’t reach UK customers.

Read more: Two-thirds of UK crypto firms skip vital ‘know your business’ checks

The FCA’s no-nonsense letter comes hot on the heels of a former FCA chair revealing that the regulator was at one point under “political pressure” to let crypto firms in — some of which are now under criminal investigation. Now, however, it’s out for blood.

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