Prague, March 25th, 2009
The Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER) approved a proposal for a new Directive governing the issuance of electronic money and supervision of electronic money institutions today.
It is a compromise text agreed between the EU Council and the European Parliament. The European Parliament should officially approve the proposal during its plenary session in the second half of April. The EU Council will formally confirm it in May.
The new Directive is to replace the existing Directive 2000/46/EC. During the negotiations, the Czech Presidency mainly sought opportunities to remove the high regulatory barriers preventing the development of an electronic money market in the European Union and to set reasonable conditions for the business operations of electronic money institutions. This objective was achieved.
A fundamental change in the draft Directive is a reduction in the regulatory burden placed on electronic money institutions and the convergence of their status with provisions on payment institutions under the Payment Services Directive. In terms of capital requirements, initial capital is reduced from the current EUR 1,000,000 to EUR 350,000, i.e. to approximately one-third.
A marked departure from the current legislation is the possibility of hybrid electronic money institutions, i.e. institutions that perform other activities in addition to the issuance of electronic money. This is very important, for example, for mobile operators, who will be able to develop their services in a clearly defined regulatory environment.
Electronic money is one of the priorities of the Czech Presidency in the field of financial services. The current regulation does not allow the potential of electronic money as an alternative method of payment to be fully harnessed. The draft Directive is also in line with the priorities of better regulation and reduced administrative burdens.
Spokeswoman of the Ministry of Finance
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