Although the Insurance Distribution Directive (“IDD”) was supposed to be implemented on 1st October 2018 at the latest, the Belgian transposition law was only adopted on 14 November 2018. This implementation law is characterised by an expected dose of gold-plating together with a few surprising good news for the industry. In this news, we give our two-cent on the upcoming changes we thought were the most interesting to the industry – and hopefully the less boring to read about.
The public offer of investment instruments and their admission to trading on a regulated market used to be governed by the law of 16 June 2006 implementing the Directive 2003/71/EC of 4 November 2003 (the “Law of 2006”).
While mandatory disclosure of information is vital to protect investors and constitutes a necessary step towards completion of the so-called ‘EU Capital Markets Union’, the rules laid down in the Directive 2003/17/EC led to divergent approaches across Europe and resulted in significant impediments to cross-border offers of securities, multiple listings on regulated markets and to EU consumer protection rules.
On Tuesday 23 October, Sandrine Hirsch, Partner in our Corporate M&A department, gave a lecture on the obligations related to the new UBO Register at a workshop organised by the association “Avocats en droit boursier et financier/Advocaten in het beurs- en financieel recht”, in the presence of Mrs Annika Agemans from the SPF Finances/FOD Financiën.
Sandrine’s presentation is available here (in French).
One of the biggest threats associated with virtual currencies (or cryptocurrencies) is their potential use for money laundering and terrorist financing purposes. With the adoption of the 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive ( “AMLD5”) on 30 May 2018, the European Union attempts, amongst other things, to address this issue.
Numerous articles compare different European countries or compare Europe and the US when it comes to financial regulation, the IPO market or the types of FinTech applications that are easily adopted (or not) by the public. We decided to take a look in a different direction and together with the Japanese law firm Keiwa Sogo Law Offices, Simont Braun’s Digital Finance team examined the FinTech trends in both Belgium and Japan. Interesting resemblances, but also surprising differences came out from this analysis and showed that there are different means to the same end, especially when it comes to payments.
Associations and foundations are not immune to the upcoming reforms: the Code of Economic Law has already made enterprises liable to be declared bankrupt, and it is now a question of endowing them with a new set of rules, partly common to companies.
What are the changes to expect from the new Companies’ and Associations’ Code, currently discussed at the Parliament?
Update - 4 October 2018
1. The Law of 18 September 2017 implementing the 4th EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive of 20 May 2015 (Directive EU 2015/849) has established a register of beneficial owners, namely the “UBO register” (Ultimate Beneficial Ownership). The Royal Decree of 30 July 2018 on the operating procedures of the UBO register has been published in the Belgian Official Journal on 14 August 2018 and will enter into force on 31 October 2018
The public offer of investment instruments and their admission to trading on a regulated market used to be governed by the law of 16 June 2006 implementing the Directive 2003/71/EC of 4 November 2003 (the Law of 2006).
While mandatory disclosure of information is vital to protect investors and constitutes a necessary step towards completion of the so-called ‘EU Capital Markets Union’, the rules laid down in Directive 2003/17/EC led to divergent approaches across Europe and resulted in significant impediments to cross-border offers of securities, multiple listings on regulated markets and to EU consumer protection rules.
Therefore, the EU legislator repealed the Directive 2003/71/EC and adopted the Regulation 2017/1129 of the European Parliament and of the Council dated 14 June 2017 on the prospectus to be published when securities are offered to the public or admitted to trading on a regulated market (the “Prospectus Regulation”). The Prospectus Regulation imposes obligations having a direct effect on persons involved in the offering or listing of securities.
The FSMA recently released a short Q&A summarising the key steps and requirements of the process for a registration application as an insurance intermediary in Belgium. This document, drafted in English, is intended to attract and inform potential newcomers, be them established insurance professionals fleeing the potential consequences of Brexit or new market entrants such as InsurTech companies.
This provides us with an opportunity to put our two-cents on the application process.