European Crowdfunding Service Providers Regulation (ECSPR) has been active for some time now. The new rules allow for securities platforms to solicit investors across all EU member states. Firms may raise up to €5 million in an online offering, thus improving upon the previous national market limitations. While Germany is the largest economy in the EU, it has been missing from the list of registered investment crowdfunding providers. Platforms must be approved by the relevant authority within their home member state, but as of today, not a single platform has been approved in Germany due to unwieldy proposed rules.
Today, the Bundesverband Crowdfunding e.v., or German Crowdfunding Association, has revealed a breakthrough in the regulatory process. According to a post by Karsten Wenzlaaff, the German Crowdfunding Association has welcomed recent developments by policymakers as a draft for the Zukunftsfinanzierungsgesetz (Future Financing Act ) indicates that public officials want to adjust rules which have been deemed as too restrictive, in terms of liability, for the industry to thrive in Germany.
The draft is said to have been approved by the Cabinet of the German government and the German parliament, with the goal of making ECSPR an attractive regulation for online capital formation.
A post on the German Crowdfunding Association site explains that prior changes to the civil liability regime will be removed from a draft bill by the Federal Ministry of Finance. The updated rules will see issuers only liable in cases of gross negligence. Limited liability for individuals operating the firms will be maintained.
The liability issue was a key requirement demanded by the German crowdfunding industry, and the update appears to be on a path for approval by the Bundestag.
Last month, CI published an update of investment crowdfunding platforms approved to operate under ECSPR. At that time, the Netherlands was in the lead with seven approved platforms, followed by Spain with five platforms and France at four. Spain was the first country to approve an ECSPR-qualified provider – Crowdcube, one of the largest securities crowdfunding platforms in the world.