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UK considers blanket ban on crypto investment cold calls

UK considers blanket ban on crypto investment cold calls

As the United Kingdom prepares for a ban on finance-related cold calls, the UK Treasury issued a consultation and call for evidence to gauge a full picture of the impact on businesses, or the costs associated with introducing and implementing the ban.

On May 3, the UK government announced an ambitious fraud strategy, which would involve adding 400 new jobs to update its approach to intelligence-led policing. As Cointelegraph previously reported, the National Crime Agency estimates that fraud costs the country approximately $8.7 billion (£7 billion) annually.

“The government will not tolerate this behavior,” said Andrew Griffith, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury while criticizing the rising cold calls for financial services and products that often target the most vulnerable members of society.

HM Treasury’s case study on crypto cold call scam. Source: gov.uk

HM Treasury highlighted numerous instances where cold calls were responsible for investors’ losses, out of which one involved cryptocurrencies, as shown above. While the UK government previously implemented various prohibitions and restrictions on cold calling, scammers often find loopholes in the system to bypass the law.

HM Treasury intends to impose a blanket ban on finance cold calls. Source: gov.uk

With the intention to impose a blanket ban on financial cold calls, the Treasury put forth 19 questions to stakeholders — as a measure to ensure maximum impact on scammers and minimum impact on businesses that often rely on cold calling prospects. The consultation closes on Sept. 27, 2023.

Related: UK Treasury plans to exclude derivatives and ‘unbacked’ tokens from regulatory sandbox

The UK government recently rejected the appeal to consider and regulate cryptocurrencies as gambling.

“HM Treasury and the FCA [Financial Conduct Authority] will work with the industry to ensure crypto firms are made fully aware of the standards required for approval at the FSMA gateway. Further communications will be provided in due course to ensure standards for approval are clearly available to crypto firms operating in the UK.“

The government response noted that such an approach has the potential to completely counter the globally agreed recommendations from international organizations and standard-setting bodies.

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