Following a December 15 2015 report by the Financial Supervisory Authority, in late July 2016 the government issued directives for a commission of inquiry with the purpose of analysing the market for crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending in Sweden. Unlike many other jurisdictions, Sweden has yet to introduce regulations that explicitly address crowdfunding platforms or peer-to-peer lending. The directives therefore contain instructions to consider which laws apply to the different forms of crowdfunding and whether new legislation and penalties are required.
The government has taken a favourable approach towards alternatives to traditional financing and encourages the development of a crowdfunding market in Sweden without compromising the level of protection for investors and consumers. The inquiry is set to be completed by the end of 2017.
On July 1 2016 an amendment to the Act on Consumer Credits entered into force, whereby the administrative body overseeing consumer protection on the Swedish market gained authority to prohibit lenders from granting credit to consumers with immediate effect. Before this, a non-compliant lender could be required to cease granting credit, but time would lapse between the decision and it gaining legal force.
In July 2016 the focus of the legislature on consumer protection and the market for consumer credit continued with a new legislative proposal (2015/16:197) to strengthen the borrower's position on the housing mortgage market. The new bill, which is proposed to enter into force on January 1 2017, is to a large extent an implementation of the EU Directive on Credit Agreements for Consumers Relating to Residential Immovable Property.(1) The new legislation will contain, for example, a mandatory waiting period of seven days for consumers before accepting an offer for a mortgage.
In addition, the government is considering further tightening the rules on consumer credit. Politically, the target is often the quick loans made available through text messages or those that are otherwise easily accessible to consumers. The results of a commission inquiry into possible restrictions on lending to consumers (Dir 2015:43), including a cap on interest and fees and stricter penalties in case of a faulty credit process, are expected in September 2016.