FCA continues clampdown on unregistered crypto ATMs in Exeter, Nottingham and Sheffield
The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has continued its clampdown on unregistered crypto ATMs, inspecting sites across Exeter, Nottingham and Sheffield suspected of hosting illegally operated machines.
Crypto ATM operators in the UK must be registered with the FCA and comply with the UK’s money laundering regulations. However, the regulator says no crypto ATM operators currently have FCA registration.
The latest inspections formed part of a joint operation with the South West Regional Organised Crime Unit, Yorkshire and Humber Regional Organised Crime Unit and the Nottinghamshire Police Force.
In February, the FCA warned a number of Leeds venues suspected of hosting illegally operated crypto ATMs.
Ramona Senior, head of economic crime at the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Organised Crime Unit, says crypto ATMs are “a key component” in the facilitation of money laundering and the movement of funds gained through criminal activity.
The FCA says it will review evidence gathered during these visits, made under the Money Laundering Regulations 2017 act, and consider taking further action where necessary.
FCA executive director of enforcement and market oversight, Therese Chambers, says: “’Besides disrupting unregistered crypto businesses, the joint efforts have helped raise awareness of illegally operated crypto ATMs in the UK among the public.”
Crypto products are high risk and not regulated, Chambers adds. “That means you should be prepared to lose all your money if you invest in them.”