On June 15, 2017, the Italian Senate approved the conversion into law of Law Decree No. 50, dated April 24, 2017, whereby small and medium-sized enterprises (“SMEs”) are given recourse to equity crowdfunding that was originally restricted to innovative start-ups. In the wake of the recent reforms aimed at providing SMEs with new funding channels, the said piece of legislation has introduced into the Italian legal framework the possibility for SMEs, established in the form of limited liability companies (“società a responsabilità limitata” or “SRLs”), to offer their quotas for subscription via dedicated Web portals for the raising of capital — up to a maximum of €5 million per company.
A new trade body has been launched in the UK – UK Finance. It has been created by combining most of the activities of existing UK finance associations – the Asset Based Finance Association, the British Bankers’ Association, the Council of Mortgage Lenders, Financial Fraud Action UK, Payments UK and the UK Cards Association. It operates across 300 companies and societies, who themselves operate in finance, lending, banking, markets, fraud prevention and payments. Its role will be to help its members build customer trust, facilitate industry-wide collaboration and innovation, and work with policy makers and regulators in the UK, European Union and at a global level to ensure that the UK retains its position as a global leader in financial services.
UK Finance recognises that FinTech is generating enormous possibilities for its members. Its CEO, Stephen Jones, envisages UK Finance’s collaboration with the sector will form one of the central pillars in the organisation’s role of ensuring all its members can deliver the latest advances to their customers. Peter Smith, the CEO and co-founder of Blockchain, represents the FinTech industry on the UK Finance board.