Facebook Met U.K. Regulators Months Before Libra Announcement
Facebook has endured several setbacks in launching Libra as governments are finding it difficult to allow it to run without robust AML practices. Reuters revealed that Facebook has multiple meetings with the finance ministry and various regulators in the U.K (FCA, BoE), September 18, 2019.
Facebook’s Pre Launch Discussions
Before Libra was formally unveiled to the public, Facebook had managed to snag several meetings with British regulators. It is believed they were trying to establish the Libra Association in the U.K, but the finance ministry and Facebook both declined to comment.
Despite meeting regulators and announcing their intentions, Libra has been met with hostility from most governments, including the U.K.
Bank of England’s top gun had previously warned that Libra poses major risks to the financial system and should be severely scrutinized before being allowed to launch in any sense.
On April 23, Facebook met an official from the British finance ministry who was on the cryptocurrency panel. The next day, they met the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to discuss the implications that would arise out of a private digital currency.
In mid-May 2019, Facebook had one more meeting with the FCA and the Bank of England.
Facebook declined to comment on these findings as they look to overcome all of the regulatory hurdles in front of them by the end of 2020.
The company has stood by their belief that Libra is best launched after rigorous consultations with regulators and governments. Their meetings with the U.K. government are consistent with the view they have held for Libra since the announcement.
Facebook Has a Tough Road Ahead
No digital currency, not even Bitcoin, has faced the kind of backlash Libra has over the last few months.
Libra has managed to attract criticism from regulators and ordinary citizens, most of whom just don’t trust Facebook given their muddy past.
Facebook will have to work very hard to develop an AML framework that satisfies governments across the world, but this may not be enough.