The Financial Conducts Authority (FCA), the United Kingdom’s financial watchdog, has ordered Epyments Systems Limited, a licensed electronic money institution founded in 2011, to halt its operations until it fixes the loopholes in its anti-money laundering (AML) procedures, according to a statement by the firm on February 11, 2020.
FCA Orders Epayments to Suspend Operations
Per a statement released by Epayments Systems on its website, the Financial Conducts Authority of the United Kingdom has asked it to suspend its online payment operations, making it clear that its current anti-money laundering procedures are not watertight.
Reportedly, the FCA has also frozen the accounts of Epayments’ one million users and has also barred the firm from opening new accounts for its clients, “until remedial action has been carried out to the satisfaction of the FCA.”
Though prospective users of Epayments are often subjected to know-your-customer (KYC) checks before their accounts are set up, the firm has hinted in its statement that the recent crackdown by the FCA came after the regulator carried out a review of its systems and found out a number of loopholes.
Customers Fund Secure
Importantly, Epayments has assured its customers that their funds remain protected in segregated accounts and it’s doing everything within its powers to meet the requirements of the FCA and get the ban lifted as soon as possible.
“We know this will be a very frustrating time for our customers. We apologise for any inconvenience caused and are working tirelessly with the FCA to ensure improvements are made and accounts can be reactivated as soon as possible. During this improvement process, we want to assure customers that their funds are being safeguarded as normal.”
In addition to the substandard AML measures cited by the Epayments as the primary reason behind the latest clampdown by the FCA, it has also been reported that the firm’s previous involvement with a crypto exchange startup named Digital Securities Exchange (DSX) may have also attracted the regulator to it.
It’s worth noting that the FCA has increased its oversight on crypto market participants of late and has recently launched operations to fish out fraudulent bitcoin trading venues in the region.
Earlier in October 2019, reports emerged that the FCA was making plans to place a blanket ban on crypto derivatives products such as futures and options trading.