Trading platforms / social trading platforms / signal following
FinTechs belonging to this category operate trading platforms or online marketplaces for investment opportunities or certain financial contracts – e.g. securities, factoring etc. and sometimes furthermore provide contact to financial experts and tools for the decision-making.
FinTech-signalling and social trading platforms provide users with the opportunity to exchange opinions on financial investments and offer signal providers and traders the possibility to make their securities portfolio publicly visible. This way the portfolios can be linked to and followed by other traders via the platform automatically, so that the trading and investment strategy of the followed traders can be copied.
The platform often cooperates with a financial services provider or a credit institution where both the trader and the follower hold their securities accounts, and which execute the orders both of the trader and the follower and to which the platform passes on the trading decisions.
Attitude of the country towards trading, social trading or signalling platforms
There are no especial reservations. It is a growing market.
Obligations and requirements to provide trading, social trading or signalling platforms described above
A document of the European Securities and Market Authorities (ESMA / 2012/382 "MIFID Questions and Answers", of June 22, 2012), considers, that the use of automatic negotiation systems falls within the scope of the investment portfolio management service. In the document there are included exceptions to this qualification such as when there is a specific authorization from the client to execute each operation, or when the client determines the criteria for the system and sends the different orders to the market. It is not legally binding, but it is important for the interpretation and the understanding of the applicable law.
The platforms of social trading are considered as automatic systems of negotiation to which the exceptions previously said do not generally apply.
The CNMV understands that this type of companies must offer their services to investors under a discretionary portfolio management contract (article 140 d) of the text consolidated of the Securities Market Law). In addition, before signing the contract, the company must ensure the investor´s suitability and compliance with all the rules of conduct according to the Securities Market Law.
Therefore, for FinTech companies to perform social trading services, they would need to be incorporated as companies and securities agencies (“Sociedad de Valores and Agencia de Valores”), portfolio management companies (“Sociedad Gestora de Carteras”) or asset management companies (“Sociedad Gestora de Instituciones de Inversion Colectiva”). Among the types of entities referred to, the Portfolio Management Company is the simplest and the one that needs fewer requirements for its incorporation.
Additional comments regarding the legal situation for trading, social trading or signalling platforms or what FinTech’s must be aware of in this business area
Market size for trading, social trading or signalling platforms and biggest companies in this business area
It is an emerging and fast-growing market.
The biggest companies operating trading platforms in Spain are xtb, etoro, Avatrade, xm, Plus500 and Pepperstone.
Additional comments regarding the economic situation for trading, social trading or signalling platforms or what FinTech’s must be aware of in this business area