British lawmakers have been considering changes to the previously introduced Financial Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill. The legislation, which aims to give authorities the power to seize crypto assets linked to criminal activity, underwent a third reading in Britain’s upper parliamentary house, the House of Lords, on July 4.
UK lawmakers consider recommendation to approve bill to give authorities powers against crypto-crimes
The UK government introduced the Financial Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill in September 2022. The bill is part of the government’s measures to make it easier for law enforcement agencies to crack down on crypto-related financial crimes.
But in the just-concluded reading, House of Lords members did not propose any changes to the bill. Instead, they described the recommended changes as “minor” changes.
The bills June 27 version included proposals to amend existing frameworks to give law enforcement more flexibility in the seizure and civil recovery of crypto assets. Additionally, the bill clarified the government’s authority over cryptocurrencies “intended for terrorism” or related reasons.
For now, UK lawmakers will weigh any changes to the bill before sending it on for royal assent. Once approved, the Financial Crimes and Corporate Transparency Bill will become the Bill.
In March 2023, the UK legislators revealed plans to “strictly” regulate crypto to combat illegal use of cryptocurrencies. It is part of the government’s economic crime plan 2023 to 2026. At the time, lawmakers revealed they expected to pass the Financial Crimes and Corporate Transparency Bill into law by the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2023. They also planned to coordinate with various agencies to implement the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) travel rule.
UK lawmakers to enforce FATF travel rule
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global anti-money laundering watchdog, is published its updated recommendations on 30 June 2022.
Part of the recommendations, tagged “Travel Rule,” requires virtual asset providers (VASPs) and financial institutions offering virtual asset transfer services to collect and share personal data from the senders and receivers of the transactions.
Initially, FATF’s travel rules were only applicable to financial institutions. However, in 2019, the agency expanded the recommendations to include virtual asset service providers and all platforms that offer crypto-asset services.
The UK plans to maintain the FATF travel rule as a key anti-money laundering/countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) action by September 2023. The Travel Rule requires VASPs or crypto exchanges to obtain, hold and exchange information about originators and beneficiaries of virtual asset transfers.
In the recently published Financial crime plannoted the UK government’s plans to develop various delivery programs to support FATF compliance with standards.
The rules apply to all digital asset transfers based on the cross-border nature of digital asset activities and the activities of virtual asset service providers.
In addition to the Financial Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill, the House of Lords passed a third reading of the bill on financial services and markets on June 19. The legislation, which aims to support the adoption of cryptocurrencies in the UK, became law on 29 June.
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