EUROCROWD, ItaliaFintech and Chiomenti discuss Lending and Equity Crowdfunding under ECSPR
On May 7th, Francesca Passeri, EUROCROWD’s Deputy Director, joined ItaliaFintech and Chiomenti for the conference “Lending and Equity Crowdfunding: the new European regulation and future challenges for the Fintech sector” in Milan. The discussion was dedicated to the application of the new European Regulation on the Italian market and potential new challenges and opportunities that Italian platform operators will face. The industry had the opportunity to exchange views with CONSOB (the national conduct authority for financial markets), the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the Italian Central Bank.
Gregorio Consoli, Managing Partner Chiomenti, and Andrea Crovetto, President of ItaliaFintech, argued that ECSP will help conveying private savings into investments into the Italian economy, creating new job opportunities and attracting foreign investors. They stressed that a renewed discourse between the sector and the national authorities will be required, in order to enable the full potential of the regulation for the Italian economy.
Speakers from national authorities, Bruna Szego, Head of the regulatory and macro-prudential analysis service of the Bank of Italy, Tiziana Togna, Deputy general manager CONSOB, and Stefano Cappiello, General Manager, Banking and Financial System Directorate - Legal Affairs, Ministry of Economy and Finance, outlined that the Italian regulation for equity crowdfunding is already quite in line with ECSP provisions, while it will be necessary to clearly define the role and operational rules for lending-based platforms.
The implementation of ECSP in Italy will be shaped by the competence of the national authorities, especially fiscal regimes, administrative and bureaucratic procedures for ECSP authorisation for existing market players, and clear definition of the roles that CONSOB and the Bank of Italy will play in supervising platform operators and in liaising with ESMA.
Arguments by market players addressed expectations of the law to operate on a European scale. ECSP will drive consolidation in the crowdfunding market in Europe and lead to the professionalisation of crowdfunding as a reliable financial mechanism for business. Details about the authorisation procedures and, of course, the competitiveness of Italian operators under the new circumstances remain a open issue. Looking forward, the market participants strongly argued for the potential of a future increase to the EUR5m fundraising threshold and the importance of market liquidity, especially through a cost effective secondary market.
Francesca Passeri underlined how EUROCROWD is working towards informing interested stakeholders in understanding the implications and impacts of the ECSP. She argued that the new law has, indeed, the potential to radically disrupt pan-European crowdfunding, enabling cross-border transactions and platforms’ operations within a common EU market. This is will generating positive impact and benefits to the European economy by providing access to capital for business and increased freedom of choice for private investors. The next two years will be decisive in ensuring Italy to be a driving force within Europe for innovative digital finance and that it national authorities now must work with the crowdfunding sector in order to enable a smooth transition into the new regime.