The United Kingdom FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) has emphasized how crucial AML (anti-money laundering) is and has revealed it has enhanced its surveillance.
In the previous 12 months, a couple of its significant sanctions was linked to not dealing with AML risks and financial crime. Mark Steward, the FCA executive director of enforcement and market oversight, spoke at the AML & ABC Forum 2021 and indicated that the present City regulator has 42 active investigations; 25 into companies and 17 against individuals.
These are related to, for instance, systems and controls over people who are politically exposed, clients with massive money-intensive operations, transaction monitoring, and correspondent banking and trade finance.
According to Steward, in the previous 12 months, the FCA has amplified its online investment promotions targeting offers from illegal suppliers lacking Financial Services and Markets Act approvals, possible investment frauds, and other promotions that sound fake, such as lead generation sites.
He stated that some of these sites are being investigated or have been sued. The regulator also provided alerts on its warning list about over 1,000 companies, an increase of more than 100% compared to 2019.
The warning list aims to dissuade clients from working with companies that seem to be FCA certified but are not or get duped by investment frauds without carrying out suitable checks.
According to Steward, now the FCA can recognize these sites, scrutinize them, and issue alerts where suitable, a lot faster than previously. His wish is for companies and consumers to use the warning list.
‘Our desire is for our warning list to be implemented by consumers and licensed companies who want to make sure that any transfers or transaction of money by or to companies like these are checked properly and where appropriate, the subject of unusual activity reports or different reports to the NCA (National Crime Agency) and the FCA,’ he remarked.
Steward stated that now the FCA has created a warning list version known as the unregistered cryptocurrency businesses list to assist consumers and companies that are FCA certified to recognize cryptocurrency firms that give the false impression that they are undertaking business in the UK or have sought FCA registration.
From 10 January 2021, the FCA has played the role of AML supervision of cryptocurrency companies. The FCA does not supervise or regulate the cryptocurrency business; however, these companies should be registered and adhere to the cash laundering rules.
At the beginning of this month, the FCA included all crypto ATM company’s first names on this list and recently had 29 crypto custodian wallet suppliers on the list.
Steward said,’ without talking about other different measures that may be taken to implement the new obligations, being included in the list should warn FCA-certified companies, for instance, banks that might be giving these companies and consumers banking services.’
‘Our wish is for the unregistered cryptocurrency businesses list to be utilized in a similar manner as the warning list to make consumers safe and to make sure that any money transfers or transactions by or to such companies are checked appropriately and where suitable, the subject of unusual acts reports or different reports to the FCA and the NCA.’