“As evidence emerges of the scope for crypto-assets to be used for criminal purposes, I am writing regarding good practice for how banks handle the financial crime risks posed by these products,” said FCA Executive Director of Supervision Jonathan Davidson.
He recognised that there are motives for using cryptocurrencies that have nothing to do with crime, including “using them as high-risk speculative investments or as a means of funding innovative technological development.”
Davidson, however, warned, “this class of product can also be abused because it offers potential anonymity and the ability to move money between countries. You should take reasonable and proportionate measures to lessen the risk of your firm facilitating financial crimes which are enabled by cryptoassets.”
The FCA official recommended CEOs increase their scrutiny of clients who do business with cryptocurrencies and their activities when offering them banking services. He mentioned specific services which may require further review such as “where your firm offers services to cryptoasset exchanges which effect conversions between fiat currency and cryptoassets and/or between different cryptoassets; trading activities where your clients’ or counter-parties’ source of wealth arises or is derived from cryptoassets; where your firm wishes to arrange, advise on, or take part in an ‘initial coin offering’ (ICO).”
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