This is a translation of the article written by Kristof Van der Stadt and published on datanews, Le Vif website on the 12th of July. This article deals with the bill proposed by the CD&V senator Peter Van Rompuy concerning the crowdfunding.
The senator CD&V Peter Van Rompuy has suggested a bill promoting crowdfunding. The ceiling of € 100,000 would increase to 1 million euros.
The 'crowdfunding' - which comes from the U.S. - helps to finance projects by collecting small amounts from the public via the Internet. In recent months, more and more initiatives in this area were also launched in Belgium, to which professional investors can make their contributions. Perhaps the best known example will still be SonicAngel that allows fans to share the benefit. Fans who have invested in the album of Tom Dice, received no less than 260% gain from dividends.
With his bill, the senator Van Rompuy intends primarily to stimulate debate on the 'crowdfunding' in Belgium. "While interest rates are historically low, the Belgians had last March filed 225 billion in the bank. The 'crowdfunding' enables to invest some of that capital in projects in which we believe - and often local - that can offer higher returns than traditional savings book", said Peter Van Rompuy. "Following the credit crunch, it also becomes increasingly difficult to find sufficient funding for projects in the traditional way, ie banks. Thus many new entrepreneurs and cultural organizations need more than ever an external financing. "
Yet no regulations in Belgium
Unlike other countries, where the phenomenon is much more popular, no specific regulations exist in Belgium. Under current law, a project can raise in our country 100,000 euros, without too many difficulties. However, if this amount is exceeded, the project is considered as a financial institution 'appealing to public savings', in which case the Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) must issue a permit.
Van Rompuy is now proposing to raise the ceiling of 100,000 euros to bring it to one million euros, which would consider more projects for the 'crowdfunding', but with clear safeguards for investors. According to the CD&V senator, this system can work well if the FSMA develops an evaluation system that ensures minimal security for investors.