European fintech giant Revolut has finally been granted a license by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to offer digital asset trading and custodial services in the United Kingdom.
Revolut has been on the FCA’s temporary registration regime for several months, being the only firm remaining on this register since June. Over 200 virtual asset service providers (VASPs) have applied for the licenses, but only 38 have been authorized to operate. While a few were denied the license, most chose to withdraw their applications and cease serving the U.K. market, blaming the FCA’s stringent requirements.
“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,” the FCA said in a statement.
However, it shot a warning to the company, reminding it that being a licensed company doesn’t exempt it from adhering to all financial regulations.
“As with firms that were on the temporary register, firms that are on the full register are required to comply with the money laundering regulations,” a spokesperson for the regulator added.
For its part, Revolut said it was “delighted to have received full registration as a crypto asset firm.”
Obtaining the FCA’s license is very difficult, and some of the world’s largest companies have learned this the hard way. Binance was booted out of the U.K. last year, and despite spirited efforts to find a backdoor into the country, it’s been kept out of one of the world’s key Bitcoin markets. It has since then withdrawn its application for a license in the U.K.
FTX, yet another exchange giant, suffered a similar fate to Binance. Earlier this month, the FCA issued a warning to consumers that the exchange was offering its services in the U.K. without a license. In an interview this week, CEO Sam Bankman-Fried claimed that the warning came as a surprise to his team as the exchange “had been in discussion with the FCA about licensing for a while.”
Revolut, whose $800 million funding round last year valued it at $33 billion, now awaits a banking license from the FCA. CEO and Co-Founder Nik Storonsky has blasted the FCA in the past over its licensing delay, which he says is stifling innovation in the country.
The fintech startup was also reported to be undergoing a major business review under Project Prism, cutting costs and revoking several job offers. A spokesperson for the company told CoinGeek that the cost-cutting reports had been greatly exaggerated. She, however, declined to reveal the extent of the business review under Project Prism.
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