In its monthly journal (September issue) BaFin published an expert article on its communication with Fintechs. In this article BaFin describes its principles when dealing with Fintechs. BaFin recognizes the importance of new innovative businesses and intends to communicate with new market participants in a transparent way and provide information in a targeted and audience adjusted manner. However, the author of the article emphasizes that BaFin’s increased service orientation towards new and small enterprises must not be mistaken for a relaxation of regulatory requirements. According to the head of BaFin the main principle is: “Same business, same risks, same rules”. Although general principle of proportionality applies there is no bonus for innovative undertakings.
On its website BaFin provides specific information on the regulation of the following services respective business models (German and English language): alternative payment methods, automated portfolio management, crowdfunding (crowdinvesting, crowdlending), platform for automated investment advice, platform for signal trading and automated order execution, virtual currency. BaFin provides a contact form (only in German language) market participants can use in order to find out if authorization requirements apply to them. In this connections BaFin warns that the provision of payment services, financial services and conducting of banking or insurance business without authorization is a criminal offence under German laws.