The ability of 96 crypto businesses to function in the United Kingdom (UK) is in doubt, as reports reveal a bottleneck of anti-money laundering applications. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) must process these applications by March 31, 2022. In particular, 27 businesses remain on the interim register, while 69 “new entrant” applications are also in jeopardy. The fate of these crypto enterprises is unknown, if they do not receive authorisation by deadline.
The FCA has been in charge of overseeing cryptoasset enterprises for anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing from January 2020. FCA first set a one-year deadline for applicants when it launched the registration system. The FCA extended its interim licensing regime deadline for a second time in July 2021, amid a large backlog of licensing applications.
The regulator said in July 2021 that a much larger percentage of enterprises were failing to follow the requirements of the Money Laundering Regulations (MLRs). The FCA’s rejection of a firm may make it more difficult for it to be authorised for licences in other nations in the future.
As of February, 79 businesses have received a decision on their application. While 25 have completed the registration process, and 54 have been denied. Meanwhile, 27 companies are still waiting for their applications to be reviewed on the interim registry.