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Consob exercised for the first time the new power to order internet service providers to block access from Italy to websites through which, in the absence of a prospectus, financial products are offered to the public, or offers of financial products are advertised, in breach of the sector regulations contained in the Consolidated Law on Finance (Articles 94 et seq.).

The new power, introduced by Law no. 8 of 28 February 2020(Article 4, paragraph 3-bis), complements the power already envisaged in the "growth decree" (Law no. 58 of 28 June 2019(Article 36(2-terdecies) on the blackout of the sites of abusive financial intermediaries.

This expands the "toolbox" available to Consob, so as to strengthen its powers to combat online financial abuse.

Below are the sites Consob has ordered to be blacked out:

The number of sites blacked out since July last, when Consob got the power to order that the websites of fraudulent financial intermediaries be blacked out, has thus risen to 168.

The measures adopted by Consob can be consulted on the website

The black-out of these websites by internet service providers operating on Italian territory is ongoing. For technical reasons, it can take several days for the black-out to come into effect.

Consob draws investors’ attention to the importance of adopting the greatest diligence in order to make informed < investment > choices, adopting common sense behaviours, essential to safeguard their savings: these include, for websites that offer financial services, checking in advance that the operator with whom they are investing is authorised, and, for offers of financial products, that a prospectus has been published.

To this end, Consob would remind you that there is a section on the homepage of its website entitled "Be aware of fraud!", providing useful information to warn investors against financially abusive initiatives.

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In addition, pursuant to Article 99(1)(d) of Legislative Decree no. 58/1998, the Commission has prohibited the offer to the public of investments of a financial nature made by Blue Stone Invest Gmbh also through the site (Decision no. 21295 of 5 March 2020).

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Consob has ordered the same subjects to cease the violation of Article 18 of Legislative Decree no. 58 of 24 February 1998, pursuant to article 7-octies, letter b) of the same legislative decree:

 (Published in "Consob Informa" no. 9/2020 - 9 March 2020)