Following a change in legislation, cryptoassets promotions targeting UK consumers now fall within our remit. We have introduced rules that are designed to give people a better understanding of what they are investing in, and the risks involved.
Following a consultation, we have published Guidance to further support crypto firms complying with the new marketing rules. The Guidance also details how authorised firms communicating or approving financial promotions should apply the Consumer Duty to their marketing.
Lucy Castledine, Director of Consumer Investments at the FCA, said:
'While the new rules for firms marketing crypto to UK consumers are aligned with the existing rules for other high-risk investments, we’ve engaged extensively with industry and designed this Guidance to specifically support crypto firms complying.
'We continuously seek industry’s input to get rules, their implementation, and the support we offer right. This Guidance is no exception and we’re grateful for all the input we received during the consultation period.'
The cryptoasset sector and the global regulatory environment are developing at pace, so we will continue to engage with firms and keep our Guidance under review.
To further support firms make necessary improvements to their marketing, we previously published examples of good and poor practice on firms’ preparations for the new financial promotions rules.
We continue to remind people that despite these new rules, cryptoassets remain high-risk and people should be prepared to lose all the money they invest.
Consumers should check the Warning List before making any investment in cryptoassets. The list will help consumers make more informed investment decisions by finding details of unauthorised firms we’re aware of. It also helps consumers understand which firms may be providing or promoting financial services or products in the UK without our permission.
- Read FG23/3: Finalised non-handbook guidance on Cryptoasset Financial Promotions.
- The final guidance did not cover the scope of the regime as this is determined by legislation.
- The FCA has offered cryptoasset firms registered or authorised by the FCA flexibility under a modification by consent to implement parts of the rules that require greater technical development. If their application is successful, they will have until 8 January 2024 to implement the 24-hour cooling period, client appropriateness testing and client categorisation features. All other measures of the financial promotions regime came into effect from 8 October 2023.
- Since 8 October 2023, firms wishing to promote cryptoassets in the UK to retail consumers must, by law, be authorised or registered by the FCA, or have their marketing approved by an authorised firm. PS23/6: Financial promotions rules for cryptoassets.
- The rules for marketing cryptoassets to UK consumers are aligned with existing rules for other high-risk investments.
- The rules on promoting cryptoassets follow extensive work with the Government on their consultation on the future financial services regulatory regime for cryptoassets and collaboration with international counterparts and the wider industry.
- We have been warning firms since February this year to get ready for these changes.
- Where firms are engaging with the FCA in good faith with a view toward achieving compliance we are taking a proportionate approach to implementation.
- Within the first 2 weeks of the marketing rules going live, we issued 221 alerts and warned about common issues we’ve seen with crypto marketing.
- We will shortly publish a Discussion Paper that sets out our proposals for regulating stablecoins for use in payments in the UK. We encourage stakeholders to engage with this Discussion Paper.