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Thursday, 3 October 2013

Crowdfunding: Brussels Sprouts!

At last, the European Commission has realised that peer-to-peer finance might really be more efficient than banks at getting funding to those who need it. In Brussels, that translates roughly into "let's regulate". So, today the Commission launched a consultation aimed at understanding "crowdfunding: its potential benefits, risks, and the design of an optimal policy framework to untap the potential of this new form of financing."

The consultation paper is here, and responses are due by 31 December. The relevant Commission officials can be reached here

If my experience of the Commission's approach to regulating other aspects of e-commerce is anything to go by, it will be a huge challenge to educate officials - particularly for fast-moving entrepreneurs who have little time or resources to spare. 

Yet the risk of awkward, confusing and disproportionate regulation is high, so no one resident in the EEA can afford to be complacent.

So, at the very least, I'd recommend that any UK platforms and/or trade bodies capitalise on the evidence they've submitted to UK officials and Parliamentary committees over the past year or so, including whatever submissions are made in the current round of FCA consultations on peer-to-peer lending and crowd-investment