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FDIC instructs banks to provide notification when engaging with crypto assets

Bank Regulatory Federal Issues Digital Assets FDIC Fintech Cryptocurrency Risk Management

On April 7, the FDIC released FIL-16-2022, titled “Notification of Engaging in Crypto-Related Activities,” instructing banks that intend to engage in, or that are currently engaged in, any activities involving or related to crypto assets (also referred to as “digital assets”), to notify the FDIC of their intent and to provide “all necessary information that would allow the FDIC to engage with the institution regarding related risks.” The FDIC noted that, though it “supports innovations that are safe and sound,” the agency is “concerned that crypto assets and crypto-related activities are rapidly evolving, and risks of this area are not well understood given the limited experience with these new activities.” According to the FDIC, crypto-related activities “may pose significant safety and soundness risks as well as financial stability concerns,” digital asset activities “present risks to consumers,” and insured depository institutions “face risks in effectively managing the application of consumer protection laws and regulations” related to these “new and changing crypto-related activities.” The letter also specified that a bank should promptly "notify the appropriate FDIC Regional Director” of “information necessary to allow the agency to assess the safety and soundness, consumer protection, and financial stability implications” of digital asset activities. The FDIC will review the information and provide relevant supervisory feedback.