A top priority for Andrew Griffith, a UK MP and economic secretary to the Treasury, is to “deliver the Financial Services and Markets Bill" this year.
At City UK's annual dinner on Thursday, Griffith said he hoped to get the bill on the statute book by Easter. The statute book is a record of all legislation passed and enacted in the UK.
"My ambition is for us to be the global financial hub — using our strengths to enhance strong relationships with jurisdictions all around the world, attracting investment and increasing opportunities for cross-border trade," Griffith said in his speech.
The financial regulation bill
In October, the bill was amended with new provisions for crypto assets. If passed, the amendments will provide the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and HM Treasury with more oversight powers. The bill also has a focus on stablecoins and will tie the UK closer to the E.U.’s Markets in Crypto-Assets (MICA) regulation.
Crypto regulation is already largely in the hands of the FCA, which decides on the registrations of crypto firms according to anti-money laundering requirements. The new bill would provide the FCA with even more regulatory oversight.
A new crypto framework proposal
Earlier this week, the UK also unveiled its plans for regulating crypto trading and lending. A consultation paper from the Treasury outlined a new crypto regulatory framework that will cover crypto service providers, lending platforms, consumer protection, crypto issuance and more. This framework will also enhance the powers of the FCA.
The crypto industry has so far been generally receptive to the new framework proposal and has until the end of April to submit responses on the paper.
“Just yesterday we published a consultation setting out comprehensive proposals for regulating the sector,” Griffith said. “It’s a big potential opportunity — I want to get it right so am actively seeking your views.”
"The golden thread here is innovation," he added. "Being at the forefront of change, is how we will make the UK the natural home of innovative financial services companies."
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