In a bid to sanitize its financial ecosystem and rid it of bad actors, New Zealand’s financial regulatory watchdog, the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) has made it clear in its annual report for the year ended June 30, 2018, that the presence of unlicensed businesses offering bitcoin-linked products as well as other financial services will no longer be tolerated, reported Finance Magnates on October 25, 2018.
The FMA Pledges to Hammer Down Unlicensed Firms
Per sources close to the matter, the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) of New Zealand earlier today released its annual report for the year ended June 30, 2018.
In the document, the financial regulator talks about its initiatives to make financial companies more regulatory compliant, as well as enlighten New Zealand residents on the pros and cons of bitcoin and other cryptocurrency-linked investment products.
Earlier this year, the FMA reportedly joined forces with its international counterpart, the Australian Royal Commission to improve the conduct of financial firms including banks, forex brokers, and others, in its bid to make them operate in accordance with the existing rules.
Notably, the FMA has stated categorically that the importance of good conduct in the financial industry cannot be overemphasized, as such it would no longer be business as usual for firms operating without the relevant licenses in the region.
The CEO of FMA, Rob Everett, has reiterated that the New Zealand financial sector has matured to a point where all participants should fully understand what is required of them, adding that,
“All market participants should be aware of their licence conditions and obligations. Where we see non-compliance, our response will be appropriate but lack of time or experience is not a valid excuse.”
New Zealand Regulating its Cryptospace to Eradicate Fraudsters
While 2018 has not been a particularly good year for bitcoin and altcoins due to the recent market slump, the crash in the price of digital assets has however not deterred bad actors from doing what they know how to do best.
Everett further said that the FMA had taken legal actions against firms who misused the Financial Service Providers Register, while also “issuing guidance about cryptos for interested investors, to coincide with the sudden spike in interest.”
The regulator has expressed a positive stance towards blockchain-based businesses, stating that it encourages innovation, but interested providers need to approach it for guidance before commencing with their crypto-based businesses.