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Our services for cryptoasset firms
FCA cryptoasset AML/CTF registration
We provide guidance and support throughout the registration process for cryptoasset firms, helping them obtain the FCA registration.
We assist cryptoasset firms in navigating the complex regulatory landscape, ensuring compliance with applicable laws and regulations, such as anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) requirements.
We offer Compliance-as-a-Service (CaaS) for cryptoasset firms, providing tailored regulatory compliance solutions, ongoing monitoring, reporting assistance, training, and timely regulatory updates to ensure compliance.
Why leading firms choose us as their partner.
"We would like to express our gratitude for the exceptional support and guidance provided by Buckingham Capital Consulting as we sought assistance with the cryptoasset registration. Their expertise and dedication have been instrumental in helping us navigate the regulatory landscape.
Buckingham Capital Consulting's in-depth understanding of cryptoasset regulations and their attention to detail have been invaluable. They have provided us with comprehensive support in meeting regulatory requirements and developing robust compliance frameworks.
Throughout our engagement, the team at Buckingham Capital Consulting has been responsive, knowledgeable, and highly professional. They have worked closely with us to ensure that our cryptoasset operations are conducted in compliance with applicable regulations."
FCA Cryptoasset AML Registration Guide
If you wish to provide crypto-based services in the UK, then you must register with the FCA for the cryptoasset (AML/CTF crypto Registration) in the UK, formally known as the FCA AML/CTF Cryptoasset Registration regime.
The FCA is the new anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financial (AML/CTF) supervisor of crypto businesses based in the UK under the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017. If you wish to provide crypto services in the UK you must register with the FCA as part of its AML/CTF Cryptoasset Registration process.
We help crypto businesses that wish to provide crypto services in the UK, with the FCA's crypto licence, formally known as the AML/CTF Cryptoasset Registration. Registration has been a challenging process for crypto businesses. Buckingham Capital Consulting works with crypto firms in helping them understand their AML risks and addressing them, ensuring the FCA's registration process is as smooth as possible.
Understanding FCA AML Regulations
It is important to familiarise yourself with the specific AML regulations set forth by the FCA for cryptocurrency activities. These regulations are designed to prevent money laundering, terrorist financing, and other illicit financial activities within the crypto industry. By understanding these regulations, you can ensure that your business operates in accordance with the FCA's expectations.
Determining Registration Requirements
Next, you need to assess whether your business activities fall within the scope of FCA Cryptocurrency AML registration. This involves determining if your activities qualify as "cryptoasset activities" as defined by the FCA and whether your business meets the threshold for mandatory registration. It is important to carefully evaluate the nature of your cryptocurrency operations to determine your registration obligations.
Developing AML Policies
Developing robust AML policies tailored to your cryptocurrency business is a crucial step in the registration process. These policies should cover various aspects, including customer due diligence, risk assessment, enhanced due diligence for high-risk transactions, and ongoing monitoring of cryptoasset activities. By establishing comprehensive policies, you can demonstrate your commitment to preventing financial crimes and comply with AML regulations.
Conducting Risk Assessment
Conducting a thorough risk assessment is an essential part of the registration process. This assessment involves evaluating the specific money laundering and terrorist financing risks associated with your cryptocurrency operations. By identifying and documenting these risks, you can develop appropriate strategies and controls to mitigate them effectively.
Implementing Compliance Monitoring
Implementing robust compliance monitoring systems is crucial for detecting and tracking suspicious activities within your cryptocurrency business. These systems should be designed to identify potential money laundering or terrorist financing activities. It is important to establish procedures for reporting suspicious transactions to the National Crime Agency (NCA) as required by AML regulations.
Training and Awareness
Providing regular training to your staff is vital to ensure they understand AML regulations, their responsibilities, and the unique risks associated with cryptocurrency transactions. By equipping your employees with the necessary knowledge and skills, you can foster a culture of compliance and empower them to recognise and report suspicious activities.
Independent Audit and Review
Consider engaging an independent auditor to periodically review your AML compliance program. This external review helps ensure that your AML policies, procedures, and monitoring systems remain effective and aligned with regulatory expectations. An independent audit provides assurance that your compliance efforts are robust and in line with industry best practices.
Prepare and submit your FCA Cryptocurrency AML registration application with accurate and comprehensive information about your business, AML policies, risk assessment, and compliance systems. It is essential to provide all the necessary details and ensure accuracy in your application to avoid delays or complications.
Ongoing Compliance and Reporting
Once registered, it is important to maintain ongoing compliance with FCA AML regulations. This includes regular reporting to the FCA, such as suspicious activity reports, annual financial crime reports, and updates on any changes to your business operations. Staying updated with reporting requirements and fulfilling your ongoing compliance obligations is crucial to maintaining your registration.
Are you required to register?
The application of the money laundering regulations will be considered by the FCA on a case-by-case basis and is likely to differ for different business models. Generally, the regulations are applicable if you have a physical presence in the UK through which the cryptoasset business is conducted, although other factors may also be considered. However, merely having UK customers does not in itself mean that such a firm would fall within the jurisdictional scope of the ML Regulations. However, a cryptoasset exchange provider that has an ATM located in the UK will be within the scope of the ML Regulations irrespective of which jurisdiction the operator is established in or where its offices are based.
Cryptoasset business compliance requirements
Cryptoasset business compliance requirements
1. Identifying money laundering and terrorist financing risks.
2. Assessing ML/TF risks related to new technologies.
3. Have in place appropriate policies, systems and controls to mitigate ML/TF risks.
4. Where appropriate and depending on your firm’s size and nature of its business, appoint a member of the board or senior management team to be responsible for compliance with the money laundering regulations as your nominated officer.
5. Where appropriate, depending on the size and nature of your business, establish an independent internal audit function.
6. Conduct screening of employees.
7. Conduct customer due diligence when entering into a business relationship or transaction.
8. Apply enhanced due diligence measures where a customer presents a higher ML/TF risk. A higher risk would be presented by a person deemed as a politically exposed person (PEP).
9. Conduct ongoing monitoring of all customers.
Cryptoasset AML registration application fee
The FCA application fee for the cryptoasset AML registration application is £10,000.
FCA Cryptoasset AML registration information you will be required to provide
The FCA will need some key information about your business. This includes:
Programme of operations: setting out the specific cryptoasset activities for the business.
Business Plan: setting out the business objectives, customers, employees, governance, plans and projections. You should provide enough detail to show that the proposal has been carefully thought through and that the adequacy of financial and non-financial resources has been considered. You should also include details on the volume and value of transactions, number and type of clients, pricing and the main lines of income and expenses.
Marketing plan: including a description of customers and distribution channels.
Structural organisation: a description of how your business is structured and organised. You must include a description of relevant outsourcing arrangements, if any.
Systems and controls: provide details of the key IT systems you will use to run the business, including details of IT security policies and procedures.
Details of individuals, beneficial owners and close links: directors and any other persons who are or will be responsible for the management must satisfy the regulator they have a good reputation and have the appropriate knowledge and experience to act in this capacity. A business will have to appoint a person to be responsible for MLRs compliance, monitor and manage compliance with policies, procedures and controls relating to money laundering and terrorist financing and act as the nominated officer under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
The person you appoint to carry out any of these functions can be the same person, but the FCA will expect them to have the knowledge, experience and training as well as a level of authority and independence as well as sufficient access to resources and information, to enable them to carry out that function.
Governance arrangements and internal control mechanisms: as part of registration, you will need to provide details of governance arrangements, the internal control mechanisms in place to identify and assess risks and a description of money laundering and counter-terrorist financing control measures in place.
Anti-Money Laundering/Counter-terrorist Finance framework and risk assessment: this should highlight the risks specific to your business model activities and provide details on how you mitigate those risks. You should also include Anti-Money Laundering/Counter-Terrorist Finance staff training material.
Business-wide risk assessment: with monitoring and mitigation policy.
All cryptoassset public keys/wallet addresses: this includes all of the cryptoasset addresses controlled by the business and used in the activity of the business for each cryptoasset that the business deals with.
Customer onboarding agreements and processes.
Customer due diligence and enhanced due diligence procedures, meeting the minimum standards required in the regulations.
Transaction monitoring procedures.
Record-keeping and recording procedures.
Business continuity plan.
Outsourcing arrangements policy and service licence agreements.
Budget forecasts and financials for the first three financial years.
Money Laundering Reporting Individual forms for all directors, executives and officers.
Beneficial Owner forms for shareholders.