UK’s FCA Announces New Digital Assets Head: Report
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UK’s FCA Announces New Digital Assets Head: Report

UK's financial regulatory body FCA appointed Binu Paul as the new head of digital assets. Paul previously served as specialist lead at New Zealand's Financial Markets Authority for two years.
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The UK’s top financial regulator Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) appointed Binu Paul, a former fintech specialist lead at New Zealand’s financial watchdog, as its new head of the digital assets unit, according to an exclusive report by The Block. Paul will be replacing Victoria McLoughlin, who served as the interim digital assets chief of FCA since April.

Former FMA Specialist Lead Becomes FCA’s Digital Assets Chief

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), an independent financial regulator of the UK, hired a new head of digital assets. Binu Paul will be joining FCA after serving as a fintech specialist lead of New Zealand’s financial regulator Financial Markets Authority (FMA) for two years.

The move comes a month after Paul announced his decision to leave FMA in a LinkedIn post. Before taking on the specialist lead role at FMA, Paul led the regulator’s intelligence unit.

“I have had a ball of a time in #NewZealand – but it’s that time when other shores beckon! Heading over to the #London later this month to take up my next challenge.”

– Binu Paul wrote in a LinkedIn post.

The fintech expert will be replacing Victora McLoughlin, who served as the interim head of FCA’s digital assets division since April 2022. McLoughlin worked at the FCA for more than ten years prior to taking on the interim role.

At the moment, 56 crypto firms in the UK are registered with the FCA. The regulator is known for having a rigorous licensing process based on compliance with stringent anti-money laundering rules. This has pushed away many crypto firms willing to operate in the UK and forced them to seek licenses elsewhere.

One of the crypto firms that recently registered in the UK is the digital assets exchange, which already employs more than 100 employees in the country. The rapidly-growing crypto exchange also obtained a license in France just a month later.

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UK PM Liz Truss Fires Chancellor in a Shock Move

Today, new British Prime Minister Liz Truss fired Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng in an unexpected move just weeks after she announced the largest tax cuts in 50 years. The tax cuts, aimed at stimulating the growth of the UK economy, sent sterling to a new record low against the US dollar, forcing the Bank of England (BoE) to intervene in the foreign exchange market.

Furthermore, BoE also doubled its government bond purchases to protect pension funds from market turmoil and ensure an “orderly end” to its emergency bond purchase plan. The British economy has been facing extreme headwinds recently, and BoE’s modest interest rate hikes did little to curb rampant inflation.

Truss requested Kwarteng’s resignation and is expected to hold a press conference later today. The 47-year-old has been serving as UK’s new prime minister for just 37 days.

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