Cryptoassets: AML / CTF regime - Registering with the FCA

You must register with us if you want to provide cryptoasset services that come within the scope of the money laundering regulations. Find out if this applies to you and how to register.

We are the anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (AML/CTF) supervisor of UK cryptoasset businesses under the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017(MLRs).

This information will also be of interest to cryptoasset businesses that may need to seek registration with the FCA under the MLRs to allow them to communicate financial promotions in the UK as a result of extension of the UK’s financial promotions regime to include qualifying cryptoassets.


Find out more about the AML/CTF regime.

Who needs to register

Check our flowchart to understand if you need to apply for registration.

View our flowchart

If you want to provide certain cryptoasset services by way of business and you intend to act in the course of business carried on in the United Kingdom, then you must register with us before you begin.

The requirement to be registered is set out in Regulation 8 and Regulation 9 of the MLRs. Regulation 14A also defines the cryptoasset services that come within scope of the MLRs.

Businesses already registered or authorised with the FCA for other services (such as e-money institutions, payment institutions and firms authorised under FSMA) will also have to register with us under the MLRs if they intend to provide relevant cryptoasset services.

Our assessment on whether an activity is being carried on by way of business in the UK will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Here are some of the things we take into account.

If you are unsure whether you need to register, you should seek independent legal/compliance advice.

How to apply for registration

You should submit your application using our Connect system.

Before you apply you should read:

Once submitted we will review your application and are likely to ask for more information. Keep in mind the extra time it could take you to gather this.

At the point, and only at the point, that we have all the information we need, we have 3 months to come to a decision on your application.


Start your application by registering for Connect

You can see a summary of the number of applications we have received and their outcome.

Pre-application meetings

You can request a pre-application meeting if you seek registration under the MLRs. 

The benefits include:

  • Further insights into the requirements of the rules and expectations of the FCA when an application is made. It will be expected that the relevant FCA pages have been reviewed.
  • A clearer understanding of the application process.
  • An opportunity to introduce and explain your firm’s business model.

Please note that we do not provide advice to firms and pre-application meetings do not guarantee a successful application.

To request a pre-application meeting, you should provide the following information in advance:

  • Name of firm and address (and Companies House number).
  • Your expectations from a pre-application meeting.
  • Link to your website (if applicable).
  • If available, a slide deck introducing your business model, products, customer types and any points that you wish to draw our attention to.
  • The cryptoasset activity(ies) you will be applying for.
  • Names and position of perspective attendees to the pre-application meeting.

Requests for pre-application meeting can be submitted to [email protected].

Registration fee

You will need to pay a fee to register with the FCA. Cryptoasset registration falls into Category 6 of our pricing categories.

You can find the charge for each category in our Handbook. For more information please see pricing categories for application fees.

You will also need to pay a periodic or annual fee while your firm is registered with the FCA. For more information see our Handbook.

We have defined income as the gross inflow from economic benefits (that is: cash, receivables and other assets) recognised in the registered UK entity’s accounts during the reporting year in relation to the provision of the cryptoasset services specified in the MLRs.

Tips on applying

We will reject poor quality submissions that do not meet the criteria above without conducting an assessment.

Guide to the information we need

You will need to include a range of information about how your business is organised and operates.

We highlight the information we expect below. Please note this is not an exhaustive list.

The information about your business should be up-to-date and we will need information on the applicant business and all key individuals who hold a relevant function to assess whether or not you are fit and proper (as set out in Regulation 58A).

More on fit and proper assessments can be found in the next section.

What we need to make a fit and proper assessment

To become registered, cryptoasset businesses regulated by us under the MLRs and any person who is an officer, manager and beneficial owner in the business, will be subject to the fit and proper requirements under Regulation 58A of the MLRs.

Any officer, manager and beneficial owner must pass the fit and proper test before the business can be registered.

This can include:

  • the sole proprietor of the business
  • a partner in the business
  • a director of the business
  • the Board member or Nominated Officer responsible for compliance with the Regulations
  • the Nominated Officer for reporting suspicious activity reports to the National Crime Agency
  • a beneficial owner as defined in Regulation 5 and Regulation 6 of the MLRs
  • other person performing a role of similar influence or responsibility

An applicant must disclose to us any issues as to why it may not be fit and proper.

When disclosing any matter under this requirement you may also, if appropriate, make representations explaining why the person should now be treated as fit and proper.

The FCA carries out checks on applications for fit and proper status and treats non-disclosure very seriously. The success of your application could be affected if we find that you have withheld information deliberately or provided false or incomplete facts.

Giving us false or misleading information may be a criminal offence. We suggest that if, after reading this information, you remain uncertain about disclosing convictions then you should seek legal advice.

We will use the information you provide, amongst other things, to determine whether the business and the relevant persons are fit and proper to carry on the regulated activity. Before doing so we will carry out checks on the information you provide to make sure it is correct.

A business must ensure any person who has not been approved by the FCA does not act as a manager, officer or beneficial owner. Any material information which is determined to be false or misleading may lead to refusal of the application.

We will consider:

  • convictions. An applicant or an officer, manager or beneficial owner that has an unspent conviction as listed in Schedule 3 of the MLRs will automatically fail the fit and proper test
  • failure by an individual to pay a penalty under Part 9 or a charge under Part 11 of the MLRs, or charge imposed by the authority under Regulation 35(1) or 42(1) of the Money Laundering Regulations 2007
  • reasonable grounds that suggest an individual will fail to comply with the MLRs, Part 3 of the Terrorism Act 2000 and Part 7 and Part 8 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002
  • any failure to comply with the MLRs
  • the risk of the business being used for money laundering or terrorist financing or proliferation financing
  • an applicant and any individual’s honesty and integrity, skills and experience, financial soundness within the context of the regulations and the expectation to act with probity. For example, this may include any matters that cast doubt on the honesty and integrity of the individual, such as disciplinary proceedings or dismissal, competence or capability or financial soundness

Information you should also consider

This information will be useful when putting together your application. We would expect to see evidence of how you have taken into account this information, as appropriate to the nature of your application.

Contact us

For any queries regarding the regime, please email [email protected].

Page updates

: Information added Pre-application meetings
: Information added Travel Rule
: Editorial amendment Typo corrected
: Link added Link to registration statistics.
: Editorial amendment reference to Money Laundering Regulations 2007 added
: Editorial amendment Updates to page as part of website refresh