The Bank Of Spain has finally opened the mandatory registry for Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) in the country. The bank also dispelled doubts that financial institutions had regarding whether they had to apply for the registry given they already comply with AML legislation. All institutions and persons must apply for the registry if they want to provide crypto-related services in Spain.
Registry Opened for VASPs
The Bank of Spain has finally opened the registry for Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) in the country and clarified its scope and the kind of companies and individuals that should register. According to the statements posted on the Virtual Office of the Bank of Spain, all platforms offering services in Spain must register, even those not located in the country.
The Bank of Spain also stipulated that companies can only register via internet, while individuals can go to the offices of the General Registry of the Bank of Spain to deliver the requested documents.
The required documentation is ample and includes a money laundering and terrorist financing prevention manual created by each one of the institutions, a risk analysis document, and identification documents for all of the people running these operations.
Penalties and Deadline
The law establishes harsh penalties for companies and individuals who fail to register and yet continue operating. The penalties for eluding this registry start at €150K (~$175K) and can go as high as €10 million (~$11.6M). Other penalties contemplated in the law, that include not registering with the Financial Intelligence Unit of Spain go from €60K to as high as €5 million.
VASPs initially had until the end of this month to register, but the Bank of Spain delayed the release of documentation describing the registry process and clarifying who needs to apply. However, all parties now know that even if they already comply with other AML measures, they need to register again.
According to local reports, representatives of banks interested in offering cryptocurrency-related services to their customers doubted if they had to register to be able to do cryptocurrency-related business in the future. While most experts believed that banks were in the best spot to do this due to their existing compliance standards, the bank of Spain dispelled this notion when it announced that all companies would have to register.
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