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New FCA chair is not a fan of crypto

The UK’s financial regulator has a new incoming chair in the form of the current CEO of the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) in Hong Kong, Ashley Alder.

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In a few weeks at the start of January 2023, Ashley Alder will begin a five-year term in becoming the new chair of the Financial Conduct Authority, the UK’s financial regulator. 

Yesterday Alder, the current CEO of the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) in Hong Kong, gave his first indication of one of the most contentious issues for his brief. Crypto.

Alder, told MPs in a cross-party Treasury select committee meeting yesterday,  designed to confirm his appointment, that he believed crypto firms are widely used to launder money. 

“I think it [crypto] should be regulated further,” said Alder to the committee, according to a report in the Financial Times.

“Our experience to date of [crypto] platforms, whether FTX or others, is that they are deliberately evasive, they are a method by which money laundering happens in size,” Alder added.

He specified his concerns further that crypto platforms “bundle a whole set of activities which are normally segregated”  and that this then “gives rise to massively untoward risk”.

Alder’s appointment as the FCA’s new chair has raised eyebrows given his career focus in Hong Kong and that he did not attend the committee meeting in person.

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