Crowdfunding, the rules are changing in Italy too

Crowdfunding, the rules are changing in Italy too


Finally, Italy has also implemented the European regulation on crowdfunding. After more than a year of waiting, after numerous solicitations from many quarters and after the "leakage" abroad of some platforms, the turning point has finally arrived.

The decision was taken by the Council of Ministers on Saturday last December 9, which approved - in preliminary examination - the legislative decree necessary to adapt the national legislation to the provisions of the European regulation 1503 of 2020. Regulation that came into force in November 2022. The legislative decree, to tell the truth, had already been prepared a few months ago by the then Draghi government, but there was no time or way to bring it to the finish line before the change of legislature. The Meloni government took care of it. Now all that remains is to wait for the technical times for the second approval by the Council of Ministers, which will arrive only after obtaining the opinion of the competent parliamentary commissions. A passage that is as necessary as it is formal.

The regulation introduces a new harmonized regime at Community level, creating a single market for equity (capital investments) and crowdfunding lending (loans). If on the one hand Italy was a pioneer in Europe for national legislation on equity crowdfunding, with rules already established in 2013, the same thing cannot be said for lending, which until now had not had a body of reference legislation .

The main novelty is that national platforms will be able to obtain an Italian license, which will allow them to solicit and collect investments throughout Europe, without asking for further authorizations from other states. Obviously the opposite is also true, that is, the authorized European platforms will be able to collect money in Italy.

Consob and the Bank of Italy will now jointly manage license applications. Indeed, already in October the two bodies had activated an informal consultancy service to help the platforms start the authorization process. Service that can now become 100% operational, with the first licenses probably arriving as early as spring.

But the impact of the new rules does not stop there: Europe has in fact established uniform requirements for the provision of crowdfunding services, for the organization, authorization and supervision of providers, for the functioning of the platforms, for the collection limits (maximum 5 million euros per campaign) and as regards transparency and marketing communications.

A new phase is opening for Italian crowdfunding and consequently for all those startups and small and medium-sized European enterprises, which will use this alternative finance tool. An instrument that, according to the latest data from the Milan Polytechnic, is worth around 430 million euros a year in Italy alone. The next twelve months will be months of transition and change. It's easy to imagine acquisitions, mergers and growing international competition between the various platforms. Certainly, the scenario of the sector will be very different from now to the end of 2024, also thanks to the macro-economic situation in trouble, caught between war in Ukraine, skyrocketing inflation and energy price increases.