Incoming FCA Chair Calls Crypto Firms Like FTX 'Deliberately Evasive'

Crypto firms like FTX are "deliberately evasive", the incoming chair of U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Ashley Alder, told the Treasury Committee in a meeting on Wednesday.

Alder told the committee that he will be starting with the U.K. financial regulator on Feb. 20. Alder is currently the CEO of Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), and once he starts at the FCA he will be working alongside FCA CEO Nikhil Rathi.

"They (crypto firms) are a method by which money laundering happens at size," Alder said.

Crypto firms have been facing increased scrutiny lately following the collapse of crypto exchange FTX, which was the fourth largest exchange at one point. Even Binance, which is currently the biggest exchange with a volume of over $7 billion according to CoinGecko data, is being investigated for money laundering violations and could face criminal charges.

The FCA is currently registering crypto companies so that they can operate in the country and comply with its anti-money laundering rules. It is hoping to get more powers to regulate the crypto sector and ensure consumers are protected once the Financial Services and Markets Bill passes but currently warns people that they should be prepared to lose all their money when investing in crypto.

"I think more importantly from a public's perspective, is that the way in which they bundle a whole set of activities which are normally segregated, in conventional finance gives rise to massively untoward risk," Alder said at the meeting talking about crypto firms.

Hong Kong, where Alder currently resides and takes inspiration from, moved to put in place strict licensing rules for crypto firms that meant they can't serve retail clients in May last year.

CoinDesk reached out to the FCA for a comment.

Read more: Proposed UK Rules Will Make Advertising Crypto a Lot Harder, Industry Warns