The Belgian Market for Crowdfunding
According to data from the latest report published in 2020 by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) on the global market of alternative finance and crowdfunding, Belgium had a total funding volume of €44.6 million in 2018. As one of the few countries in the report, this represents a steep drop in funding coming from crowdfunding. The crowdfunding volume in Belgium in 2017 was €90.9 million, which corresponds to a drop of -50.9%. However, only six domestic Belgian platforms and 12 foreign-based platforms operating in Belgium took part in the survey, why the data can be greatly affected if some platforms do not participate consistently. Still, the drop is so significant that at least a modest downturn in Belgian crowdfunding from 2017 to 2018 can be concluded. The 2018 funding volume places Belgium’s crowdfunding market as number 20 in Europe and as number 43 in the worldwide crowdfunding statistics. The countries topping the list in Europe are the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, France, and Italy.
Best Peer-to-Peer Lending Platforms in Belgium
Here, you will find a list of the best peer-to-peer lending platforms in Belgium. When choosing the best peer-to-peer lending sites in a country we consider a variety of factors that you can find in the Methodology below.
More P2P Lending Platforms in Belgium
Below, you will find a list of the remaining peer-to-peer lending platforms located in Belgium. If a new platform has been launched since this article was published and you do not see it here, please feel free to submit the platform by using the submit formula.
Taxation on Peer-to-Peer Lending in Belgium
Belgian tax residents, who are natural persons, are subject to a withholding tax of 30% on their income from crowdlending. If you are a legal person, normally no tax is withheld at source. If you are not a Belgian tax resident, the withholding tax depends on your tax residency.
Keep in mind that this should not be considered tax advice and can be outdated, why you should always contact a tax adviser when handling your taxes.
Regulation on Peer-to-Peer Lending in Belgium
Since there is still a lack of common rules for crowdfunding in the European Union, regulation of peer-to-peer in Belgium is based on national legislation though this might change in the foreseeable future as the European Commission in March 2018 presented a proposal for a regulative framework on crowd and P2P finance as part of their Fintech Action Plan.
Below, you will find an overview of some of the most important aspects of the regulatory framework for lending-based crowdfunding platforms operating in Belgium. These highlights can also be found in a paper from 16 November 2018 published by the OECD Economics Department on Regulatory framework for the loan-based crowdfunding platforms.
- Legal status for lending-based crowdfunding platforms: The Law on Crowdfunding does not distinguish between lending-based and investment-based crowdfunding. The law defines an Alternative funding platform (Plateforme de financement alternatif (FR) / alternatieve-financieringsplatform (NL)). The “alternative funding service” is defined as the “commercialization, through electronic
- Date of the legislation: Entered in force in 2017.
- Name of the supervisor: The Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA)
- Type of loan/debt security: Business loan or other alternative funding service
- Minimum capital requirements: There is no minimum capital requirement, but a professional liability insurance of at least €750,000 per claim and insurance year; this amount increases to €1.25 million when investment advice is given or when instruments are issued by an investment vehicle.
- Automatic lending allowed? No interdiction.
- Secondary market allowed? A platform could in theory organize a Multilateral Trading Facility but would need however to be granted the necessary license to perform that activity (which is a MiFID license)
- Clients’ money: Platforms cannot hold clients’ funds.
- Provision fund allowed? Not mentioned in the Law.
- Max size of loan: General prospectus rules apply to crowdfunding offers: a prospectus is required for offers of €100,000 or more. However, there exists a crowdfunding exemption for offers below €300,000, submitted to some conditions, notably that the individual amount that each investor can invest is limited to €5,000.
- Max invested amount: See above.
- Scoring model verified by regulator: Not mentioned in the Law.
- Collateral allowed? Not mentioned in the Law.
- Access to credit information sharing scheme? Not mentioned in the Law.
- Disclosure and risk warnings: Before providing the alternative funding service, platforms must provide the following information to their clients on a durable support: their identity; their status as well as the name of the competent authority that granted it; a description of the cost of the service; a description of the conflicts of interest policy; a description of the rules that apply to the service provision; a description of the criteria and procedures used to select projects proposed to crowdfunders; the maximal amount that is tax-deductible in case the investment is eligible to the tax-incentive program; the main characteristics of the investment instruments that are commercialized on the platforms to allow potential investors to assess the nature and risks of those instruments. There is no obligation to publish returns or default rates.
- Do lenders have to pass a financial literacy test? Investors are subject to an “appropriateness test” (knowledge and experience). In case platforms conclude that the investment instruments are not appropriate for the investor, they must warn him.
- Business continuity requirements: Yes, notably at IT level. No obligation to have a contract with the third party.
- Can platforms invest in loans/securities that they facilitate? Platforms can invest in investment instruments that they commercialize but must comply with general conflicts of interest rules.
- Authorisation of platforms and professional requirements for applicants: The platforms must provide the identity of persons that control them, and those persons must have the necessary quality to ensure prudent and safe management of the company. The platforms must have at least two managers, who must be fit and proper.
At P2PMarketData we are dedicated to providing an unbiased overview of the Peer-to-Peer Lending market and platforms. Among other, in our mission to bring more transparency to the market for online lending we track over 70 platforms funding volumes.
When choosing the best platforms in a country we have considered a variety of factors such as:
- Number of investors
- Minimum investment requirement
- Historical annual returns
- Diversification opportunities
- Reinvestment opportunities
- Educational and informational offerings
- Platform fees
- Total capital invested
- Features (such as secondary market and automatic investing)
- General transparency (the difficulty of finding who the owners are, how they make money on the platform (fees), terms & conditions and more)
- Management team
We also look into the company’s online reputation (for example customer reviews, news, complaints, average monthly searches and social media).