LONDON (Reuters) – Financial services firms, including those in the crypto-asset sector, were warned on Friday by British regulators that they must ensure compliance with sanctions imposed on entities and individuals in Russia and the United Kingdom. Belarus.
“We work closely with government and law enforcement partners here and abroad, including regulatory authorities, to share intelligence and act to prevent the evasion of sanctions, including through of crypto-assets,” financial regulators said.
“We also remain ready to act on sanctions violations,” the statement from the Financial Sanctions Enforcement Office, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Bank of England added.
The statement says that using crypto-assets to circumvent economic sanctions is a criminal offense and that sanctions regulations do not distinguish between crypto-assets and other forms of assets.
The FCA had already written to all registered crypto-asset businesses and those holding temporary registration status to highlight the entities and individuals that had been sanctioned, he added.
“The FCA and the Prudential Regulation Authority will take action if they see licensed financial institutions supporting crypto-asset businesses operating illegally in the UK,” the statement said.
A senior European Union official said last week that the European Commission was investigating whether crypto-assets were being used to circumvent financial sanctions imposed on Russian banks.
(Reporting by Michael Holden; editing by Diane Craft and Sandra Maler)
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