FCA issues final warning on crypto promotions

FCA has published a final warning to crypto firms stressing the breadth of the definition of “financial promotion” and how it will affect crypto promotions going forwards.  The communication is aimed at unregistered firms who FCA has noted are publishing these promotions currently, and with whom FCA has has disappointing lack of engagement after previous warnings. It sent a survey to over 150 firms, and received only 24 replies. FCA reminds these firms again that under the new regime, they will commit a criminal offence if they communicate promotions which are neither exempt nor approved by an authorised person. It encourages consumers to check its “Warning List”, which it will update continually with names of businesses it believes are breaching the law. It also notes its expectations on those who enable or intermediate these unregistered businesses, such as social media platforms, search engines, domain name registrars and payments firms. It warns that benefits obtained by unregistered businesses through illegal promotions could be the proceeds of crime, and as a result these intermediaries are at risk of committing money laundering offences by receiving and dealing with these firms’ monies. It reminds them of their own obligations and the duties on regulated intermediaries to report suspicions and ensure their ongoing compliance with the MLRs.

Emma Radmore