On 9 October 2015, the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht, BaFin) published a guidance note on crowdlending. Crowdlending is focussed on the marketing of loans via an internet service platform between a client (as borrower) and a credit institution licenced to conduct lending business (as lender). Repayment claims resulting from the loan agreements (or any parts of them) are publicly offered on an internet service platform to investors either directly or via an intermediary.
Depending on the contractual arrangement, it is possible that a licensing obligation exists for both the user (especially lender, borrower, investor) and the operator of a crowdlending platform. The guidance note provides a general overview on possible licencing and prospectus obligations regarding two different scenarios. Basically, the mere marketing of loan agreements does not trigger a licence requirement according to § 32 (1) of the German Banking Act (however, in general, a broker permission under commercial law may be required).