Italy is late on the European rules of crowdfunding

Italy is late on the European rules of crowdfunding

Italy is late in applying the European regulation on crowdfunding and Italian platforms risk having to cease their activity. On November 10, regulation 1503 of 2020 entered into force, which dictates the new rules for European crowdfunding service providers (Escp), i.e. crowdfunding platforms, both in equity and in lending. We are currently in the transitional period, which allows the national status quo to be maintained, giving the states time to adapt to the new rules. This transitional period, however, will expire in November 2022.

Since this is a European regulation, the adoption of the Italian Parliament is not necessary for it to take effect, however Italy (like all other European partners) has a considerable responsibility : designate a national authority, which can grant European authorizations to Italian platforms, both old and new.

The situation in Italy The alarm was raised during a webinar organized by the payment institution Lemonway. was the lawyer Alessandro Maria Lerro, managing partner of and president of Aiec, the Italian association of equity crowdfunding providers: "Although Italy has been a pioneer in regulating crowdinvesting (the equity regulation belongs to 2014, ed), we are now facing a very serious delay, which can have serious consequences on the national market. Italy must decide as soon as possible which authority will be responsible for granting authorizations to the platforms, managing the transitional period and dictating the national rules on marketing and campaign promotion ".

There are two main players in this scenario: Consob and Bank of Italy, under the supervision of the Ministry of Economy and Finance (Mef). Both Consob and the Bank of Italy could play the role of national authority for Escp, or a new dedicated authority could be created. In any case, a decision must be made.

"If the approximately 100 Italian equity and lending platforms will not be able to request authorization, then they will have to cease their activity at the end of the transitional period, currently set for 10 November 2022 - continues the lawyer Lerro -. Moreover, the authorization process will be long: our estimate is three months. My proposal is that, once the national authority has been designated, it will immediately proceed with the granting of Escp authorizations to the platforms that meet the requirements, and then check their compliance with the regulation in the process. In this way we can speed up times, allowing crowdfunding to continue to be a driving force for innovation and the real economy of our country ".

The situation in Europe Moving quickly for Italy is an international issue. The new regulation has created a single market for European crowdfunding, so now the competition is all over the common economic space. For this we must also see what our neighbors are doing. France and Spain are ahead of Italy in the transposition of the regulation and this could lead to a scenario in which local operators will not only be able to obtain national authorizations in the right time, but will also have the opportunity to request one relating to other European markets. . In short, we could find ourselves in a limit situation, in which the Italian platforms are unable to obtain the authorizations to operate, while those, for example, the French and Spanish could also collect in Italy, colonizing a national market that has remained unmanned.

"It is no coincidence that ESMA, the European Authority that regulates finance and markets, has recently suggested to the European Commission to consider an amendment to the regulation, extending the transition period to all those platforms that will application for authorization by 1 October 2022 ”, comments Lerro. On the other hand, according to the most recent data from the Politecnico di Milano, Italian crowdinvesting now collects over 500 million euros a year. Money that largely goes to finance entrepreneurial projects, innovative startups and SMEs. A resource that Italy cannot afford to put at risk.

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