Revolut secures full FCA registration for crypto service

Posted: 28 September 2022 11:04 am

After a long wait, fintech brand Revolut has secured a place on the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) full register of cryptoasset firms.

Revolut has made no secret of its plans to make a name for itself in the crypto market, but recently it faced an uncertain future, since it was the sole platform to remain under a temporary FCA waiver.

So the announcement that it has been accepted on to the FCA’s full register of cryptoasset firms must be a sweet relief for the company which has been continually adding to its crypto services over the past few months.

Crypto isn’t regulated in the UK, but firms with a UK base have to be registered with the FCA, meaning they have passed checks for anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorism compliance.

Why did FCA registration take so long?

The deadline for FCA registration closed for existing businesses in March 2022. However, Revolut was able to continue to offer crypto buying and selling services to UK consumers under a temporary waiver.

The long wait for the green light was reportedly because of questions over AML compliance.

The FCA’s announcement said: “Revolut has agreed to a number of directions designed to ensure it has the systems and controls to meet the requirements of the money-laundering regulations.”

Revolut still awaits a decision on its UK banking licence – without this, it’s not classed as a bank under UK law, but is authorised to offer digital accounts under an e-money licence.

What does FCA crypto registration mean for Revolut?

FCA registration means that Revolut can continue to operate and grow its crypto services for UK consumers, and that it’s meeting the same AML standards as other financial firms.

However, the company has faced challenges in recent months with a series of senior staff leaving the company, including its UK money-laundering reporting officer, UK chief risk officer, UK data protection officer and both UK and global heads of regulatory compliance.

Earlier in September it was also hit by a cyber attack that affected more than 50,000 of its 20 million customers.

What’s next for Revolut and crypto?

Revolut has been on a crypto push in the past few months, not letting its temporary register status hold it back.

It launched its popular learn and earn feature and has continued to add new cryptocurrencies to its trading platform.

CEO Nik Storonsky has made clear that he wants to start filling in the gaps in its service. This is likely to include decentralised wallets, enabling deposits and withdrawals, and staking and lending services.

Being fully registered as a cryptoasset firm is definitely a step in the right direction for the digital banking app. But a lot of work remains ahead if Revolut wants to achieve its ambition of becoming a one-stop shop for financial services.

*Cryptocurrencies aren't regulated in the UK and there's no protection from the Financial Ombudsman or the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Your capital is at risk. Capital gains tax on profits may apply.

Cryptocurrencies are speculative and investing in them involves significant risks - they're highly volatile, vulnerable to hacking and sensitive to secondary activity. The value of investments can fall as well as rise and you may get back less than you invested. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. This content shouldn't be interpreted as a recommendation to invest. Before you invest, you should get advice and decide whether the potential return outweighs the risks. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.

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