UK MP pressures Rishi Sunak over delays to FCA crypto register

Quick Take

  • Philip Davies MP is pressing the chancellor over the delays crypto businesses are facing while trying to get registered.
  • He is concerned by the impact of the delays on the U.K.’s reputation for financial services.
  • He is the second politician in the past week to put pressure on the Treasury regarding the crypto industry.

A British politician known for filibustering in parliament has put a series of tough questions to chancellor Rishi Sunak over continued delays to the Financial Conduct Authority’s crypto register.

Philip Davies, Conservative member of Parliament (MP) for Shipley, West Yorkshire, put 16 questions to Sunak in writing on May 24 — almost all of them concerning the handling of the registration process for crypto firms and the impact it has had on the United Kingdom's reputation as a hub for financial innovation. All of the questions are due to be answered by May 26.

In one question, he asked what assessment the chancellor has made of the impact of the delays for crypto businesses on the U.K.'s international competitiveness.

This is not the first time the filibustering MP has represented the views of the crypto industry. He staged a similar cameo in December 2019, when the regulator was considering banning the sale of crypto derivatives to retail investors (a move it ultimately went ahead with).

The Block checked the register of MPs’ financial interests and, as of April 26, could find no crypto-related shareholdings connected to Davies.

Calls for Treasury to step in grow louder


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The FCA’s crypto-assets register was announced after the FCA took over as the anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing supervisor for crypto startups in early 2020. Firms in the sector were originally told they had until January 10, 2021 to get registered or cease trading, but in December the FCA established a temporary regime for some 90 firms, extending their deadline to July 9, after struggling to deal with hundreds of applications.

As of today, there are still just four companies on the crypto-asset register.

The watchdog's inaction has already led to interventions from CryptoUK, the lobby group, which called for help from Sunak in March. Last week, conservative MP Tom Tugendhat for Tonbridge and Malling called on the Treasury to create a “safe space” for crypto innovation in the United Kingdom.

“The FCA is in a tough spot – damned if they do and damned if they don’t,” said one source close to the regulator. “Staff on the front line are pro-crypto, however senior management only see the illicit narrative.”

Davies' office was contacted for comment but did not respond by press time. 

© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.


About Author

Ryan Weeks is deals editor at the The Block, focused on fundraising, M&A and institutional trends in the crypto space, among other things. He is particularly interested in investigative work — so please send tips! Ryan previously worked at Financial News, Dow Jones as a fintech correspondent in London. Prior to that, he wrote for several different publications, including Sifted, AltFi and Wired. Beyond journalism, Ryan is a keen reader and writer. He enjoys all things active, especially running, rugby, climbing and tennis.