Index - Economy - London already sees: the fintech boom has opened the door to financial services for criminals

Index – Economy – London already sees: the fintech boom has opened the door to financial services for criminals

There are currently over 200 licensed electronic money issuers in the UK. In the UK alone, there is a daily cash flow of 1.4 billion pounds ($1.9 billion) through digital payment companies that are not loosely regulated. This, of course, is only a fraction of Britain’s cash flow, but experts warn that relative disorganization is easy. Opens the door for dirty money.

Because of the above, there were now serious concerns about whether it would be feasible for the relevant authority (FCA) to easily allow these firms to emerge in order to bolster London’s reputation as a fintech hub. Hundreds of regulatory, legal and corporate filings reviewed by Bloomberg outline a disturbing picture of the new corner of the city, as well as highlighting the supervisory shortcomings of the UK’s financial authorities.

Criminal customers, owners?

In this regard, it is not surprising that, according to a Bloomberg investigation, there are FCA-certified companies whose executives or shareholders are involved in money laundering scandals in the Baltic and Baltic states, alleged financial abuses in Russia and Kyrgyzstan, and health fraud in the United States. and suspected violations in Luxembourg. and Australia. The investors control dozens of companies in regions outside the UK, including the British Virgin Islands, Cyprus, Ukraine and the United Arab Emirates. Some pride themselves on doing business with high-risk clients.

Transparency International UK, the UK division of the global anti-corruption group, issued a warning last month that more than a third of electronic money issuers licensed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have a red flag on their activities, owners or managers.

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There are not enough tools to control

Although the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has taken some steps recently; Fifty out of 89 applications received last year were denied, and it recently conducted eight formal reviews of former licensees. In response to Bloomberg’s question, the supervisory spokesperson, without mentioning a single specific case, wrote simply: “We are focused on fighting financial crime.”

Electronic money issuers have been around for about a decade. John Wedge said they offer payment services but often serve high-risk clients that traditional lenders are reluctant to do business with, such as those who trade cryptocurrency. A partner at the London-based accountancy firm Berg Capro Lewis LLP notes that the companies involved have many clients who are unable to access banking services. “It’s the Wild West, even if we don’t just focus on those premeditated.” They arrived in the area with criminal intent – said Graham Barrow, a financial crime analyst at the Financial News Agency, who has worked for creditors such as HSBC Holdings Plc, Nordea Bank Abp and Societe Generale SA.

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