FCA Launches Operation against Unauthorized Crypto-Enabled Automated Teller Machines
Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is the sole regulator which supervises all financial matters in the UK. Even the UK’s crypto industry falls within the scope and ambit of FCA.
Under the law, FCA is authorized to take enforcement actions against those it found to be violating its guidelines, rules, and regulations. It also acts as a quasi-judicial authority and takes up investigations and holds proceedings.
UK’s watchdog of financials, FCA, is currently in the process of going after crypto-enabled automated teller machines (ATMs).
The regulator has noticed that there is a huge number of crypto-enabled ATMs operating in the jurisdiction of the UK without registrations and approvals.
On Wednesday, FCA sent a clear warning that such ATMs and their operators shall be dealt with strongly. The regulatory authority has vowed to show no leniency to the ATM operators in the country.
There will be zero tolerance for the operators of the ATMs that are offering services to the locals without the proper approval. When offering services, such operators must be regulated.
They cannot provide services without being registered and authorized by the FCA. Therefore, if any firm is found doing that, it will be dealt with accordingly, and they will face huge penalties.
ATM operators have been advised to immediately seek their due approvals/registrations with regard to their ATMs.
The authority took up the operation when it observed the illegal installation of crypto-enabled ATMs installed in the areas of East London.
For the purposes of crackdown operation, FCA has sought assistance from the Metropolitan Police i.e. the biggest police unit in the whole UK.
Police Raids Are Undergoing
Soon after FCA’s announcement of taking action against the illegal and unauthorized ATMs, Metropolitan Police raided several areas.
Simultaneously raids were seen to be carried out in various parts of the UK, including West Yorkshire, etc.
Police are of the view that a huge chunk of such unregistered ATMs is installed at various unknown and unidentified places. A large portion of such ATMs has been founded in the area of Leeds by the local police.
FCA, with the collaboration of local police, has been raiding other parts of the country. In the process, the regulator has identified certain areas part of East London where FCA is suspecting of such ATMs.
Police have been directed to carry out raids at different intervals in these areas.
FCA Clarified Status of Crypto-Enabled ATMs in the UK
FCA has further clarified its position with regard to the status of crypto-enabled ATMs in the jurisdiction.
For instance, it has been clarified that crypto-powered ATMs are not authorized ever by the authority concerned.
The regulator further clarified that in the UK none of the crypto products, including the ATMs, are regulated under any given law.
It said that the necessary laws are lacking and hence it would be immensely risky to let crypto products exist in the market.
FCA’s Enforcement and Market Oversight’s ED, Mark Steward, warned that crypto ATMs are dangerous. He further warned that ‘anyone who is investing or plans to invest in crypto ATMs should immediately back down.
He claimed that such investors are ‘digging up their graves and would lose all of their monies if they do not back down quickly’.
Further Action against ATM Operators Expected Soon
A further warning has been sent off by FCA which suggests taking action directly against the operators of crypto-enabled ATMs.
In this connection, FCA has announced taking on board the UK’s National Economic Crime Center (NECC). The plan of getting in touch with NECC is to initiate harsh action against ATM operators.
Although FCA’s standpoint against crypto products is clear yet the UK is presently a rapidly developing crypto market in the world. In fact, the country’s premier also supports the mission of transforming the UK into a worldwide ‘crypto hub’.