The Ministry of Finance has held a consultation on a bill implementing the E-Money Directive (2009/110/EC).
The bill will amend the FMSA and make a significant change to the prudential rules for electronic money institutions. The European Commission believes that the prudential requirements for e-money institutions are currently too strict. Accordingly, the bill does not include e-money institutions in the definition of "credit institution"" and brings the prudential rules – for example, the criteria for obtaining dispensation – into line with the rules for payment institutions. This should facilitate the entry of newcomers to the electronic money market. The provisions on starting capital and shareholders' equity have also been adjusted. In addition, the bill allows e-money institutions to develop other business activities in addition to e-money services.
The bill clarifies the definition of electronic money and the scope of application of the Directive. Money on a plastic card as well as electronic money stored on a central server can fall under the definition of electronic money. (Internet) banking accounts are intended to fall outside the definition. Money issued by an e-money institution is not regarded as a deposit and does not fall under the deposit guarantee scheme.
The deadline for implementation of the Directive is 30 April 2011. The Ministry of Finance does not expect this deadline to be met, but will give retroactive effect to the bill. For existing issuers of electronic money the Directive contains a transition regime, but provisions regarding redemption at the request of the electronic money holder are not included in this. Redemption will be covered by an amendment of the Decree on Conduct of Business Supervision of Financial Undertakings. That amendment will become effective as soon as possible.