The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental financial security body, has demanded the United Kingdom step up its cryptocurrency monitoring. According to a new report released Dec. 7, the country needs increased measures to prevent money laundering and combat terrorist financing (CFT).
As part of its dedicated “mutual evaluation” on the U.K.’s Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and CFT efforts, the FATF identified the need to give its mechanisms for reporting suspicious activity a “significant overhaul.”
In addition, certain sectors of the economy — specifically real estate agents and high value dealers — do not show sufficient “understanding of their risks” vis-a-vis cryptocurrency-based money laundering or “how to effectively mitigate them.”
“Virtual currency exchange providers are not yet covered by AML/CFT requirements,” the report notes, continuing:
“This is an emerging risk and there is not yet evidence to suggest that broad scale ML/TF is occurring in the UK through this relatively small sector.”
The U.K. is currently in the midst of a regulatory shift in how it deals with various aspects of its domestic cryptocurrency industry.
Various initiatives have been greeted with mixed reviews, some parties sounding the alarm last month when it emerged certain instruments such as Bitcoin futures could end up blacklisted under new rules.
The FATF acknowledged authorities had “identified and assessed the risks associated with new payment methods” and that they were now “preparing regulations to extend AML/CFT requirements to this sector.”
Under its “recommended actions,” the body urged the U.K. to “progress plans to extend AML/CFT requirements and related supervision to virtual currency exchange providers.”