The law is scheduled to come into force on 1st of July.
The objective of Finnish Crowdfunding Act is to provide new financing options for business growth – and to clarify the responsibilities of various authorities in the supervision of crowdfunding, to improve investor protection and to diversify the financial markets.
“Crowdfunding will improve access to financing, particularly for SMEs and start-ups. Through this, it will be possible for them to boost their growth opportunities, investment options, commercialisation of innovations and thereby, hopefully, employment,” said the Minister of Finance Alexander Stubb in a statement.
The Crowdfunding Act will apply only to loan- and investment-based crowdfunding utilised in financing business activity, but it will not apply to mediation of peer-to-peer loans or to money collection.
Lasse Mäkelä, the CEO of Finnish crowdfunding platform Invesdor, says the upcoming law is purely a Finnish initiative – which makes it an exception in comparison to the regulatory avalanche of the EU.
“SME finance is very high on the EU Commission and the Capital Markets Union agenda, but it is highly unlikely that there will be harmonised EU legislation on crowdfunding in the near future. National regulation has fairly recently been implemented in Italy, France, the UK, Germany, Spain, Austria and Portugal. Major EU member states with very different national legislations on crowdfunding provide a difficult starting point for EU negotiations,” ponders Mäkelä. Since Invesdor is a MiFID-licensed investment firm – the new law will not affect them directly, he adds.
“The law will provide clearer rules for crowdfunding and pave the way for competition, which we welcome.”
At the moment, investment-based crowdfunding is regulated by the Investment Services Act and the Finnish Financial Supervisory Authority’s interpretation of the content of the Act.