UK's FCA Appoints Binu Paul to Lead Its Digital Assets Department

The U.K.'s financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority, has appointed Binu Paul as its new head of digital assets.

Paul was previously the fintech specialist lead at New Zealand's Financial Markets Authority. The FCA confirmed to CoinDesk that Paul will be replacing its digital asset department's interim head Victoria McLoughlin who has been in the position since April according to her LinkedIn. This story was first reported by the Block.

The department head will lead the FCA’s regulatory activities into crypto firms that may be involved in “scams and frauds," a job posting for the role said in March.

Although the regulator had largely been critical of crypto, it's looking to have a more balanced approach to support the government's plans to turn the country into a crypto innovation hub, a representative for the FCA said in April.

Read more: UK Shuts Down Temporary Crypto Company Licensing Program

The FCA became the U.K.'s authority for anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism measures at the start of 2020. Crypto firms have to register with the FCA if they want to serve U.K. customers. So far, 39 firms have managed to register with the regulator.

The FCA stands to get more powers to regulate crypto under the country's existing payments rules if the Financial Services and Markets bill passes, but with Finance Minister Kwasi Kwarteng's firing on Friday, the fate of the bill is up in the air.

The FCA declined to comment on when Paul will officially assume his duties.

Read more: UK Finance Minister Kwarteng Fired