EU-rammeverk for folkefinansiering (crowdfunding)

Tittel

Forslag til europaparlaments- og rådsforordning om europeiske leverandører av folkefinansieringstjenester for bedrifter

Proposal for Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on European Crowdfunding Service Providers (ECSP) for Business

Siste nytt

Dansk departementsnotat offentliggjort 16.4.2018

Nærmere omtale

BAKGRUNN - I (fra kommisjonsforslaget, engelsk utgave)

Reasons for and objectives of the proposal

The Commission has today adopted a package of measures to deepen the Capital Markets Union, together with the Communication "Completing Capital Markets Union by 2019 – time to accelerate delivery". The package includes this proposal, as well as a proposal for an enabling EU framework on covered bonds, a proposal to facilitate the cross-border distribution of investment funds, a proposal on the law applicable to the third-party effects of assignments of claims and a Communication on the applicable law to the proprietary effects of transactions in securities.

This initiative is part of the Commission's priority of establishing a Capital Market Union (CMU), which aims to broaden access to finance for innovative companies, start-ups and other unlisted firms.

Today, access to finance remains difficult for these firms, particularly when they move from a start-up into the expansion phase, due to structural information asymmetries. Over-reliance on short-term unsecured bank lending is often expensive. In addition, bank lending volumes to both start-ups and SMEs have been severely affected by the 2008 financial crisis and still struggle to reach pre-crisis levels, making the lack of funds an important contribution to start-ups' failures. These issues are significantly enhanced in Member States with less developed capital markets and banking system.

As a new form of technology-enabled financial service, crowdfunding carries the potential to help better match investors with business projects in need of funding. Crowdfunding platforms act as intermediaries between investors and businesses, allowing investors to more easily identify and support projects they are interested in. Crowdfunding can become an important source of non-bank financing and thus further the CMU overarching goals of supporting a more sustainable financial integration and private investments for the benefit of job creation and economic growth. Crowdfunding is increasingly establishing itself as an important part of the funding escalator for start-ups and early stage companies, usually financed by family, friends and own funds up to later development rounds where venture capital or even private equity funds start taking interest. Crowdfunding can thus provide an alternative to unsecured bank lending, which are currently the main sources of external finance for SMEs, especially during the initial period of activity.

The Commission Services have been monitoring crowdfunding market developments for some years. A Communication published in 2014 and a staff working document published in May 2016 concluded that there was no strong case for EU level policy intervention at that juncture. Meanwhile, the Commission Services committed to monitor this market and, since then, have gathered significant evidence on barriers to cross-border activity and the development of the internal market through stakeholder consultations and external studies. Moreover, the continued concentration of the European crowdfunding sector in a few Member States has underlined the need to make this funding method available more widely for the benefit of fund seekers and investors in all Member States.

This proposal establishes a European label for investment- and lending-based crowdfunding platforms that enables cross-border activity and seeks to address risks in a proportionate manner. The proposal seeks to facilitate the scaling up of crowdfunding services across the internal market thereby increasing access to finance for entrepreneurs, start-ups, scale-ups and SMEs in general. This is why donation and reward based crowdfunding are excluded from the scope of this initiative. The inclusion of those business models would be disproportionate as they do not deal with financial products and the information asymmetries that these products create. Moreover, EU consumer protection legislation already applies to reward-based crowdfunding with strict rules to safeguard consumers.

This proposal does not apply to those services provided to project owners qualifying as consumers as defined in Article 3(a) of Directive 2008/48/EC. Therefore, the proposal does not include consumers lending for consumption purposes as this is not business lending and it partially fall within to the scope of existing EU legislations, specifically: (i) when a consumer is receiving a loan for personal consumption and operating outside of professional capacity this activity falls within the remit of the Consumer Credit Directive; and (ii) in case of a consumer receiving a loan to purchase an immovable property, this activity falls within the remit of the Mortgage Credit Directive.

This proposal also seeks to empower investors with the necessary information on crowdfunding, including the information on the underlying risks. To support investors' trust in these innovative services, this proposal also requires crowdfunding service providers to have the necessary safeguards in place to minimise the likelihood of risks materialising.

BAKGRUNN - II (fra departementets EØS-notat, sist oppdatert 13.2.2018)

Sammendrag av innhold
30. oktober 2017 publiserte EU-kommisjonen en innledende konsekvensutredning knyttet til behovet for felleseuropeisk regulering av finansiell folkefinansiering, herunder egenkapitalbasert og lånebasert folkefinansiering. Initiativet kom som et utslag av kommisjonens Capital Market Union (CMU) Action Plan av 2015, som har til hensikt å utvide og forenkle tilgangen til risikokapital for små og mellomstore foretak, innovatør- og oppstartsselskaper. Samtidig var initiativet et ledd i kommisjonens Action Plan on Consumer Financial Services, som til hensikt å utnytte potensialet som ligger i FinTech-relatert virksomhet. Kommisjonens overordnede formål har vært å skape vekstgrunn for finansiell folkefinansiering gjennom forenklet adgangen til grensekryssende tjenesteytelse og gjennom etablering av et adekvat rammeverk for risikohåndtering og investorbeskyttelse.

I konsekvensutredningen oppstiller kommisjonen fire alternative tilnærminger til et fremtidig europeisk folkefinansieringsregelverk:

1. Ingen felleseuropeisk regulering. Kommisjonen vil i stedet søke å opprettholde en dialog med tilsynsmyndighetene i medlemsstatene og i folkefinansieringssektoren, for å fremme likebehandling, deling av "best practice" og samtidig holde bransjeutviklingen under oppsyn.

2. En selvregulerende tilnærming, hvor kommisjonen utarbeider ikke-bindende minimumsstandarder basert på "best practice" og nasjonale særreguleringer.

3. Et mer omfattende EU-regelverk hvor folkefinansieringsplattformer likebehandles med tradisjonelle aktører. Det inntas et folkefinansieringsregelverk i eksisterende regulering, med særkrav knyttet til drift av folkefinansieringsplattformer. Det etableres en egen folkefinansieringskonsesjon under gjeldende regler for grensekryssende aktiviteter, som gir konsesjonshavende plattformer adgang til "the Single Market". Proporsjonale styrings- og transparensregler etableres for å sikre investorbeskyttelse og markedsintegritet.

4. En variant av dette alternativet er å utvikle et selvstendig nasjonale regelverk som harmoniseres gjennom å bygge på elementer av relevant EU-lovgivning.

5. Et selvstendig EU-regelverk, utelukkende rettet mot grensekryssende virksomhet. Det utarbeides et tilpasset EU-regelverk som kan benyttes av plattformer som ønsker å yte grensekryssende tjenester. Reglene for virksomhet som ytes nasjonalt forblir uendret, slik at det i praksis opereres med to regelsett.

Konsekvensutredningen er ikke gjenstand for ordinær høring (open public consultation), men EU-kommisjonen har inviterer berørte parter til å kommentere utredningens innhold. Finansdepartementet har inngitt sine kommentarer til utredningen i brev av 27. november 2017 (https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/initiatives/ares-2017-52...). I brevet støtter Finansdepartementet kommisjonens forslag om en felleseuropeisk regulering. Finansdepartementet mener at reguleringsforslag nr. 3 er best egent til å ivareta formålene i de relevante Action Plans. Norsk posisjon er at lik virksomhet skal reguleres likt, herunder at alminnelige konsesjonsregler også gjelder tilbydere av folkefinansiering.

Merknader

Rettslige konsekvenser
Norge har i dag ikke særlige regler for folkefinansiering. Kommisjonen legger frem 4 alternative tilnærminger til et fremtidig folkefinansieringsregelverk. Rettslig konsekvenser er avhengig av hvilken av de fire alternativene som evt. blir valgt.

Økonomiske og administrative konsekvenser
Kommisjonen legger frem 4 alternative tilnærminger til et fremtidig folkefinansieringsregelverk.Økonomiske og administrative konsekvenser er avhengig av hvilken av de fire alternativene som evt. blir valgt.