On 22 February 2016, the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (Autoriteit Financiële Markten, the AFM) announced that it will maintain the €500 threshold for the initial ‘crowdfunding investment test’ (crowdfunding investeerderstoets), which will apply to investors investing through crowdfunding platforms. In December 2015, the AFM introduced new regulations for crowdfunding platforms in the Netherlands which will apply as from 1 April 2016. The AFM’s original proposal provided, amongst other things, that in case of equity-based and/or loan-based crowdfunding, crowdfunding platforms are required to ensure that each new investor investing through the crowdfunding platform takes a crowdfunding investment test, regardless of the investment amount.
Following a meeting between the AFM and representatives of crowdfunding platforms in January 2016, the AFM proposed that new investors only need to take the initial crowdfunding investment test if the investment amount in equity or loans exceeds €500. On behalf of the Dutch Parliament, the Dutch Minister of Finance recently requested the AFM to increase this threshold to €1,000 in order to make investments through crowdfunding platforms less burdensome.
In a letter to the Dutch Minister of Finance dated 22 February 2016, the AFM has indicated that it will not increase the threshold. In its letter the AFM explains that increasing the threshold will defeat the purpose of the crowdfunding investment test: protecting and informing investors before making investments. In addition, the AFM emphasises that the €500 threshold has been established in good consultation with the crowdfunding sector and that the threshold will be carefully evaluated in October 2016.
View the AFM’s press release (Dutch only), 22 February 2016.
View the the AFM’s letter to the Dutch Minister of Finance (Dutch only), 22 February 2016.