On 6 February 2023, the FCA published a statement in which it urged firms marketing cryptoassets to UK consumers to start preparing now for the new financial promotions regime. The FCA plans to publish its final rules for crypto promotions once the relevant legislation has been made.
The Government announced in January 2022 its intention to legislate to bring certain cryptoasset promotions within the FCA’s remit.
In a subsequent policy statement on 1 February 2023, the Government announced its intention to introduce a bespoke exemption in the Financial Promotion Order for cryptoasset businesses registered with the FCA under the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds Regulations 2017 (MLRs). This exemption will enable cryptoasset businesses which are registered with the FCA under the MLRs, but which are not otherwise authorised persons, to communicate their own cryptoasset financial promotions to UK consumers. The FCA will have supervision and enforcement powers over MLR registered cryptoasset businesses relying on the planned bespoke exemption.
In its statement, the FCA notes that it will take “robust action” where it sees firms promoting cryptoassets to UK consumers in breach of the requirements of the financial promotions regime. This may include, but is not limited to, take down of websites that are in breach, issuing public warnings and enforcement action.
The FCA also explains that it expects to take a consistent approach to cryptoassets to that taken in its new rules for other high-risk investments, which have been in place since 1 February 2023.