bitcoin ethereum litecoin concept coins on black

Ahead of its new rules for crypto marketing taking effect, the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) fired a warning shot at recalcitrant offshore firms while also signalling that engaged firms will get some added time to comply with certain provisions.

The FCA’s new rules for the crypto sector that will ban referral payments and require greater disclosure and risk warnings among other things, will take effect on Oct. 8.

Ahead of that deadline, the regulator said it’s prepared to give firms more time to implement certain provisions of the new rules, such as the requirement for a 24-hour cooling off period.

“Firms must first apply for the flexibility, which would then allow them time to make the required back-office changes,” it said.

To firms that aren’t engaging with the regulator, the FCA issued a warning, noting that violations of the new rules could be considered a criminal offence, punishable by up to two years in prison and unlimited fines.

“We are concerned by the failure of many overseas and unregulated crypto firms to engage with us on the new rules,” Lucy Castledine, director of consumer investments with the FCA, said in a release. Once the deadline is in effect, “we will be taking action against firms illegally marketing to U.K. consumers.”

As for firms that seek extensions to comply with the new rules, she said, “We’ll maintain our close eye on firms during this extended implementation period.”