The FCA announced a new three-year strategy on Thursday, aimed at improving “outcomes for consumers and in markets throughout the U.K.” A key focus of the strategy is the hiring of 80 additional employees to help shut down “problem firms” that do not meet the requirements of FCA regulatory standards. That could be a lot of kinds of financial businesses, but crypto has been in the FCA's crosshairs.
Even with recent gestures by the British government to seem more welcoming to crypto, the regulatory environment for crypto firms headquartered in the U.K. has been uneasy of late.
After setting an April 1 deadline for crypto firms on its temporary register to get on its permanent register or cease operations, the agency left crypto firms in a mad scramble to meet its deadline. But the FCA changed its mind shortly after and extended its deadline for a select few crypto firms, allowing firms including Revolut and Copper to continue operations on a temporary basis.
The added enforcement funding sought by the FCA mirrors efforts by regulators in the U.S. The CFTC requested an expanded budget for training risk analysts on digital assets last week, and has sought expanded authority over crypto regulation. Likewise, the SEC has requested new enforcement positions within the agency, though not on the scale of the FCA's proposal.