The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the UK financial market regulator, has appointed a new director of payments and digital assets. The newly appointed director previously served as the National Economic Crime Command (NECC) director.

FCA appoints a new director to oversee crypto assets

Matthew Long will now be the new director of payments and digital assets within the FCA. The FCA currently has regulatory oversight over the crypto space in the UK. Therefore, Long’s appointment is a part of the regulator’s objectives to enforce rules in the buzzing sector.

The appointment of this new director was announced in a press release shared on Tuesday, and it comes amid major reshuffles in the FCA’s senior roles. The director position was only created recently, and its functions include overseeing digital money services, payments, and cryptocurrencies. Long will also be tasked with policy development.

Long has also worked on fighting illicit activities outside the financial scope. During his tenure at the NECC, he was instrumental in fighting modern-day slavery, human trafficking, firearms, immigration crime, drugs, and border violations.

Long has also served as the head of the UK Financial Intelligence Unit (UKFIU). The unit is tasked with receiving and analyzing financial intelligence reports. Long also has a career in law enforcement.

FCA’s role in regulating crypto

The FCA advertised this position in mid-March. At the time, there was intense pressure on the regulator to guarantee regulatory compliance in the crypto sector. Crypto social trading platforms in the country were required to comply with anti-money laundering laws and receive licenses. These licenses would allow these firms to continue operating in the United Kingdom.

In April, as part of an effort to ensure an ample regulatory framework for the crypto sector, the FCA appointed Victoria McLoughlin as the interim head of digital assets. The AML license in the UK has been one of the toughest regulations to comply with, as several companies such as B2C2, BCB Group, and Blockchain.com have announced plans to obtain regulatory approval in other countries.

Long will officially take over this position in October this year. Some of his previous accomplishments in the space include dealing with illegal activities in the finance sector and fighting economic crime. This experience could be what the FCA was looking for as the regulator seeks to battle the use of crypto assets in illegal activities.

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