P2P Regulation Update – Estonia

The big question many investors have is if the investment platform they are on is regulated or not. Here we give a short overview of the regulation applicable to Income. 

Update on new regulation

Estonian Ministry of Finance has been preparing a new law to regulate crowdfunding and P2P platforms for more than one year. The new law is long expected by the market players and is welcome to bring clarity and unified standards. 

Overall, the new law is prepared in the light of the latest Regulation (EU) 2020/1503 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 October 2020 (“EU Crowdfunding regulation”), which itself does not apply to the platforms such as Income, which enables investing directly into claims of, e.g., consumer loans. 

The legislator wishes to have the same principles applied in the local legislation. Thus, we are expecting market players:

  •  to have an obligation to apply for a license, 
  • have additional capital requirements and requirements as to the management of the company, incl. on specific additional internal documentation,
  •  financial audit and internal audit obligations, 
  • additional compliance obligations in terms of registering and filing the information about the new loan originator to the financial supervision authority before onboarding depending on,
  •  additional obligations about the details of the loan originator and investment opportunity as well as various other notification obligations to the financial supervision authority.

Based on the current status of the proceedings with the new law, it is expected that the new law could be adopted at the end of 2022 or in the first quarter of 2023. Market participants will then have a specific period for applying for the license, which is expected to be 6 months. We also note that since the draft law has not yet been sent to the Parliament for discussions and hearings, then the aforesaid is our best estimate and may be subject to change during the legislative process.

To summarise, Income and other similar platforms in Estonia are not yet regulated and will have to wait until the new law is passed before applying for regulative registration. We do not expect a significant change to the platform’s operations from an investor standpoint. 

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