Legal Framework

Warning notice no. 2/21 of 16 February 2021

COVID-19 - The impact of the Coronavirus emergency continues to affect the obligations of on-line portal operators

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic had significant economic effects, with a potentially greater impact on the prospects of small and medium-sized enterprises, who raise capital through online portals.

On 25 March 2020, Consob published Warning notice no. 2/20, highlighting the need for portal operators in the register provided for by article 50-quinquies, sec. 2, of Italian Legislative Decree no. 58 (the Consolidated Law on Finance) of 24 February 1998, to consider, with due diligence, the potential implications that the current emergency could have on investor protection, adopting the subsequent measures.

Given the continuing pandemic situation, the need remains for portal operators to adopt the most appropriate measures to ensure the continuity of activities carried out on their portals as well as to promptly publish any updates provided by offerers, including with regard to new facts or significant events that occur after the publication of the offer. At the same time, operators must ensure that the information made available to investors when publishing offers clearly explains the possible effects of the pandemic on the sustainability of the related projects.

Similar to the actions taken in 2020, portal operators are required to describe the measures they have adopted in this regard as well as the relative updates in the report on the activities carried out and on their organisational structures pursuant to article 21, sec. 3, of the “Regulation on raising capital through on-line portals” adopted with resolution no. 18592 of 26 June 2013, as amended.

Paolo Savona