The Bank of Italy (BoI) has published a set of guidelines in connection with the application of the new supervisory instructions for financial intermediaries. The supervisory instructions came into force in July with the aim of aligning the supervisory regime applicable to financial intermediaries to that applicable to banks under the CRD IV.

The guidelines are intended to provide assistance to firms in the transition to the new regulatory regime and have been produced by the BoI in response to queries from market operators on some of the more practical aspects of the transitional provisions.

By 11 October 2015, major financial intermediaries (normally referred to as “107 financial intermediaries”) will have to file their request for authorisation to operate under the new regulatory regime and be enrolled in the new register of financial intermediaries and therefore the publication of the guidelines is a significant development. For this reason, the focus of the guidelines is on 107 financial intermediaries, and not financial intermediaries with smaller volumes of financial activities (normally referred to as “106 financial intermediaries”), in respect of which the transition to the new regime is phased in over a longer period.

The guidelines seek to answer a number of queries that the market raised on the new regulatory regime including those relating to the need for shareholders to prove their fulfilment of the honourability requirements, the assessment of applicable requirements to the company’s officers and the content of the company’s programme of operations.

In the guidelines the BoI clarifies some important points. For example, when applying for authorisation and enrolment into the new register, existing financial intermediaries will nevertheless be required to provide evidence that their major shareholders satisfy the honourability requirements applicable to major shareholders of credit institutions. Also, 107 financial intermediaries are exempted from the requirement to provide evidence that their company’s officers satisfy the honourability, professional profile and independence requirements, unless an officer has been newly appointed and the assessment of these requirements was not previously carried out.

As far as the company’s programme of operations is concerned, the request for authorisation must contain a report covering the technical and financial adequacy of the intermediary for a three-year period. The guidelines clarify that when applying for authorisation and enrolment in the new register 107 financial intermediaries can consider the current financial year as the first year of the three-year period.

Please see the website of the BoI