On November 10, 2021, the Regulation on European Crowdfunding Service Providers (ECSP) for business entered into force. The initiative is part of the European Commission’s fintech action plan and the mid-term review of the capital markets union action plan.
With this new regulation, the European Commission wants to make it easier for crowdfunding platforms to operate across borders within Europe. What are the main focus areas of this regulation? And what consequences does the entry into force have for existing crowdfunding platforms and service providers? Compliance specialist Charco & Dique explains.
The regulation covers both equity based and loan based crowdfunding. The rules apply to offers with a counter value of less than €5,000,000, over a 12-month period. Offers above that amount over the 12-month period do not fall within the scope of this regulation. In the latter case, the Prospectus Regulation may apply.
As of November 10, 2022, crowdfunding services may only be offered by legal entities that have obtained a license from the regulator. In the Netherlands, this is the Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM).
The licensing will be subject to requirements regarding, among others, the following subjects:
- expertise and reliability of policymakers;
- prudential requirements;
- policy on outsourcing;
- policy on customer complaints.
In addition, there are requirements concerning the distinction between experienced and non-experienced clients and acting in accordance with the client’s interests. There are also requirements concerning the suitability of the service for inexperienced prospective clients and the protection of these inexperienced (prospective) clients.
Discussion boards: a secundary market
In line with the regulation, crowdfunding service providers are allowed to provide a discussion board as a source of third-party endorsement. On these discussion boards, investors can advertise buying and selling intentions for loans, securities or other admitted instruments originally offered on their platform. However, the discussion board may not function as an internal matching system for client orders unless the legal entity also has a separate MiFID II license or a regulated market license.
PSD2: offering payment services via the platform
The provision of crowdfunding services does not include the provision or offering of payment services, as referred to under PSD2. This means that crowdfunding service providers who wish to offer PSD2 payment services in relation to their crowdfunding services must also have a PSD2 license or exemption. Charco & Dique advises these parties to take into account the time it takes to apply for a PSD2 license, and the requirements that must then be met.
Do you want to know more about the regulation, or need advice on applying for a license? Charco & Dique can help you qualify your services. In consultation with you, we will determine whether – and if so, for which services – a license must be applied for. After that, we can help you organize your application file. Read more about obtaining a regulatory license.
Ruler compliance software
After obtaining your regulatory license, we can help you keep up with the supervisors’ requirements. Our compliance software Ruler offers a legal framework for crowdfunding service providers, providing you with an overview of all laws and regulations relevant to your organization. This way you have all information in one place, always up to date. Wondering what Ruler can do for your organization? Try Ruler out for 14 days, free of charge!