Strict anti-money laundering (AML) standards in the United Kingdom have forced several crypto companies out of business.
According to a release issued by the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) on Thursday, many crypto companies might be preparing to exit the region over their inability to meet AML requirements. The regulatory agency wrote:
A significantly high number of businesses are not meeting the required standards under the Money Laundering Regulations. This has resulted in an unprecedented number of businesses withdrawing their applications.
A report by The Guardian claims that as many as 51 companies have failed to meet the FCA’s AML requirements. And with their licenses withdrawn, these crypto firms have no other choice than to halt all crypto-related services. Failure to do so could attract fines and legal action from the FCA. Firms in this category cannot resume operations until they have satisfied all of the agency’s AML protocols.
This is not the first time the agency’s policy is hitting hard on crypto businesses. Back in January, the FCA implemented its ban on the sales of crypto derivatives to retail consumers. Also in January, the FCA became the AML watchdog for U.K.’s crypto market, effectively mandating a compulsory business registration for all crypto firms operating in the country.