The Financial Conduct Authority announced last week that they’ve suspended the ePayments Systems Ltd website, with all customer activity and accounts receiving subsequent suspensions as well. When the FCA made this announcement, the governing entity confirmed that ePayments Systems Ltd didn’t provide sufficient anti-money laundering provisions. It caused significant weakness in their systems, which require an immediate overhaul before services can be re-instated.
Those overhaul requirements were detailed via the FCA website. Located under the Financial Services Register, three demands have been placed onto EPSL. It’s firstly noted that this firm isn’t to engage with PIS or AIS for an indefinite timeframe. Under this condition, ePayments Systems Ltd must provide notices to customers; they cannot accept new clients until services are re-instated and are banned from conduction any corporate or individual business. This extends to their freelanced customers as well, with all these conditions forcing an immediate decline in profits. The FCA has refused to provide further context into this situation after their first updates.
Multiple participants in the British blockchain market don’t believe that the reasons provided by the Financial Conduct Authority are genuine. Speculation regarding the legitimate factors that prompted this suspension has begun circulating through cryptocurrency communities. Most of this speculation pertains around the FCA, with them having overwhelming control over the marketspace. Theories suggest that all high-risk brokerages that engage with foreign engage, cryptocurrencies and traditional digital banking avenues could be at jeopardy going forward. This theory indicates that the EPSL is the first firm to be attacked by the FCA, with this governing entity wanting a more standardized and controlled financial market on digital platforms. It’s been rumoured for a prolonged period that after Brexit was completed, the Financial Conduct Authority would implement stronger suspensions.
The ePayments Systems Ltd brokerage could’ve received a suspension for engaging with the Digital Securities Exchange, which wasn’t regulated in the United Kingdom but maintained illegal operations. It was confirmed that ESPL didn’t join with any of the illicit services offered by DGE, with some believing their explanation wasn’t enough to stop the Financial Conduct Authority from implementing an indefinite suspension period. It should be noted that multiple cryptocurrency providers ceased their operations before the FCA could apply strict consequences. Most of the time, this relates to the loss of client funds or engagement with challenger banks. Some speculate that ESPL committed similar actions and couldn’t stop operations before receiving a suspension.
The Official Email
An email was provided to customers by the ePayments Systems Ltd Brokerage. They stated to clients: “We write to inform you that under paragraph 12.1 (j) of our standard terms and conditions, we have unfortunately taken the hard decision to suspend activity on customer accounts, effective from today. During this suspension customers will be unable to transfer, deal, withdraw or deposit funds and will be unable to use their payment cards. Following a review by the Financial Conduct Authority of ePayments Systems Limited’s ePayments anti-money laundering systems and controls, many weaknesses have been identified which require urgent remediation to ensure that our customers can enjoy a safe and secure platform.”
The email continued with: “Following discussions with the FCA, ePayments has agreed to suspend activity on customer accounts until remedial action has been undertaken to the satisfaction of the FCA. We know this will be a very frustrating time for our customers. We apologize for any inconvenience caused and are working tirelessly with the FCA to ensure improvements are made, and accounts can be reactivated as soon as possible. During this improvement process, we want to assure customers that their funds are being safeguarded as normal.”