Bank of Spain Opens Mandatory Registry for Virtual Asset Services Providers

The mandatory registry for Virtual Asset Services Providers (VASPs), in Spain, has been opened by the Bank Of Spain. The bank dispelled any doubts financial institutions had about whether they were required to apply for the registry, as they are already compliant with AML legislation. If they wish to offer crypto-related services in Spain, all institutions and individuals must apply for the registry.

Register opened for VASPs

The Bank of Spain finally opened the Registry for Virtual Asset Service Providers in Spain and clarified its scope, including the types of individuals and companies that can register. The Virtual Office of the Bank of Spain has posted statements that all platforms providing services in Spain should register, regardless of whether they are located in the country.

Also, the Bank of Spain stipulated that only companies can register online while individuals can visit the General Registry of Bank of Spain to obtain the required documents.

There is a lot of documentation required. This includes a money laundering prevention manual and terrorist financing prevention guide created by each institution, as well as a risk analysis document and identification documents for all the people involved in these operations.

Penalties and Deadlines

Companies and individuals that fail to register but continue operating are subject to severe penalties. Eluding the registry can result in fines up to EUR150K ($175K), and even EUR10M ($11.6M) in severe penalties. The law also includes penalties for not registering with Financial Intelligence Unit of Spain. These can range from EUR60K up to EUR5M.

VASPs had initially been allowed to register until the end of the month, but the Bank of Spain delayed releasing documentation that described the registration process and clarified who needed to apply. All parties now know that they must register again, even if they have already complied with AML measures.

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. Experts believed banks would be the best place to do this because of their compliance standards. However, the Bank of Spain announced that all companies must register.