The ACPR, the Prudential Supervisory and Resolution Authority, regulates many players in the financial sector. However, online pots partly escape this surveillance… but not for long!
Indirectly monitored by the ACPR, online pots should soon come under the direct control of the financial sector policeman. In question ? Harmonization of rules at European level, particularly in the fight against fraud, money laundering and the financing of terrorism. Will this better control be able to stem the problem of fraudulent pools? The response elements.
Online pots are not under the direct control of the ACPR
Thanks to their platforms, it is possible to organize money collections in a simple and fast way: these are online pots. Leetchi, LePotCommun, Lydia, We participate… these sites have established themselves for the organization of outings with friends, the purchase of a joint gift or even for participation in a retirement party. However, unlike participatory financing (or crowdfunding) platforms, online pots are not directly subject to the supervision of the ACPR, the policeman of the financial sector.
The professional federation Financement participatif France noted in 2020: „online kitty sites do not fall within the crowdfunding sector”. Thus, there is no need for them to obtain the status of Intermediary in crowdfunding (IFP), which is also mandatory for all crowdfunding platforms. In fact, the ACPR does not exercise direct control over the online pools, but only over their Payment Service Providers (PSP) who manage the money collected. Indeed, PSPs are, for their part, subject to the supervision of the ACPR.
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The pots soon supervised by the ACPR to fight against fraud
As early as 2019, Tracfin, the unit for the fight against tax fraud, money laundering and the financing of terrorism, considered that these online pots should be integrated into their activities. After having been avoided for several years, the question of direct supervision by the Prudential Control and Resolution Authority is now back on the table. Indeed, a future European regulation could make it possible to harmonize the rules within the EU, and provide the opportunity to better regulate this sector of activity.
It is in this sense that the banking police published a press release at the beginning of September 2022. This specifies that the public pots, that is to say open to all, must now have an authorization in as an Intermediary in crowdfunding, in the same way as crowdfunding sites. Only private kitties can be an exception: „In addition to the requirements relating to the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism, online kitties are now regulated and subject to a certain formalism, except when they are not open to public” explains the ACPR.
Some online kitties had already taken the lead
Many online money pots did not wait for the ACPR’s directives to apply for IFP status. The sector leader, Leetchi, is thus already registered as a crowdfunding intermediary in the Orias register. This is also the case for other competing companies, in particular Lydia and OnParticipe. On the other hand, Le Pot Commun does not have the status of IFP, and therefore offers its services for private pools, excluding calls for public donations.