On 2nd July 2021, the Economy and Finance Ministerial Decree No. 100 of 30th April 2021 was published in the Official Journal of Italian Republic, regarding the "regolamento recante attuazione dell’articolo 36, commi 2 -bis e seguenti, del decreto-legge 30 aprile 2019, n. 34, convertito, con modificazioni, dalla legge 28 giugno 2019, n. 58, sulla disciplina del Comitato e della sperimentazione FinTech" (the "Regulation").
It is necessary to clarify beforehand that the Regulation has implemented the provisions of Article 36 of D.L. No. 34 of 30th April 2019 (the "Growth Decree"), as converted, with amendments, into Law No. 58 of 28 June 2019, which, inter alia:
(i) has provided the adoption of one or more regulations of the Ministry of Economy and Finance for the regulatory framework regarding the so-called "regulatory sandbox". Such a legislative act introduces into the national legal system an instrument aiming to enable FinTech trials that, through new technologies, such as artificial intelligence and distributed ledgers, may allow innovation of services and products in the financial, banking, insurance and regulated markets sectors (1);
(ii) has established, at the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the so-called "FinTech Committee" and defers the identification of its related powers to one or more regulations of the Ministry of Economy and Finance (2).
Therefore, the Regulation, which implements the provisions of the Growth Decree, is divided into 2 (two) Chapters.
Chapter I governs the regulatory framework, mode of operation and the powers of the FinTech Committee. The FinTech Committee has the duty, among others, to identify objectives, define programmes and to take actions that encourage the development of financial technology, as well as to formulate regulatory proposals and facilitate contact between business operators and institutions and authorities; it may, moreover, invite further institutions or authorities, in consultative roles and without voting rights, as well as professional associations, enterprises, entities and persons who operate in the financial technology sector.
Chapter II, on the other hand, establishes the rules regarding the FinTech trials (the so-called "regulatory sandbox"), identifying those activities for which access to trials may be requested, the subjective and objective requirements, as well as the access ways for trials, the operational scope of the trials and, lastly, the regulation of the end of the trial phase (3).
The FinTech trials shall have a limited time period (lasting up to 18 (eighteen) months), shall conform to the proportionality principle and shall be characterised by reduced capital requirements, simplified and proportional fulfilments of activities to be carried out, reduced timeframes for the release of authorisations and defined operational limits.
In general terms, the Regulation intends to promote technological innovation, enabling FinTech enterprises to test new services and products related to the employment of computer technology in the financial, banking and insurance sectors under the monitoring of the competent Supervisory Authority and for a limited time period.
- See Article 36, Paragraph 2-bis, of the Regulation.
- See Article 36, Paragraph 2-octies, of the Regulation.
- In more general terms, pursuant to the provisions of Article 36 of the Growth Decree, the Regulation has identified and established the criteria for determining: (i) the admission requirements for the trial; (ii) capital requirements; (iii) simplified and proportional fulfilments of activities to be carried out; (iv) operational limits; (v) disclosure requirements; (vi) timeframes for the release of authorisations; (vii) company leadership's professionalism requirements; (viii) corporate governance and risk management profiles; (ix) admissible company forms; (x) any financial guarantees; (xi) the process following the end of the trial.