Crypto AML compliance head at FCA to step down in 2023

Quick Take

  • The Financial Conduct Authority announced that its executive director of enforcement, Mark Steward, will step down in spring of 2023.
  • Steward led the FCA enforcing anti-money laundering compliance for crypto firms looking to register in the United Kingdom.

Mark Steward will step down from his role leading crypto compliance at the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority in spring 2023, according to a statement released on Tuesday.

As the executive director of enforcement and market oversight, Steward paved the way for the UK's finanicial regulator to take charge of national anti-money laundering compliance for crypto businesses in January 2021. Since then, firms handling crypto must comply with AML to be registered and legally operate in the UK. 

In March 2021, the regulator began keeping tabs on unregistered crypto firms through the ever-growing  "Unregistered Cryptoasset Businesses" list. Currently, there are 245 firms on that list.

Steward also played a central role in the FCA’s “ScamSmart” campaign, which keeps a hawkish eye on crypto. The latest annual review published this week shows that crypto was by far the leading sector for alerts reported to the FCA as potential scams between April 2021 and March 2022. 

“The global search for Mark’s successor will begin shortly,” the FCA press release said. 

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