The Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA) has set up a new division, The Strategy Development and Management Bureau (SDMB), which will be tasked with tackling cryptocurrency, fintech, and money laundering matters.
This latest move by the Japanese regulator comes on the heels of an announcement last week which changed the basis of how the country intends to regulate crypto exchanges in its jurisdiction. And last month, the FSA issued business improvement notices to five registered exchanges, alleging that the exchanges lacked proper internal management systems, including anti-money laundering measures.
The new Strategy Development and Management Bureau (SDMB) will be responsible for providing an up-to-date regulatory regime and will have the power to design new financial policies.
The move comes less than a year after the Japanese regulator announced that it would be closing its Inspection Bureau. That division was set up in the late 1990s in response to the Asian financial crisis. The new SDMB division, however, will continue the activities of the old Inspection Bureau including on-site inspections at financial services institutions.
According to the Asian press the overhaul was undertaken to make the watchdog more suited for responding to new challenges in the field, such as the rise of cryptocurrencies. It is expected that this latest move by regulators will be welcomed by the industry as Japan plays a central role in the world’s cryptocurrency industry and accounts for over 50 percent of the global financial market. It is seen as a key location for crypto businesses to have a presence.