Procedure descriptions

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

License for financial services providers according to the German Banking Act

You are regarded as a financial service provider if you provide financial services for others commercially or on a scale which requires a commercially organised business undertaking and your company is not a credit institution.

For the following financial services you require a License according to § 34c German Banking Act (Kreditwesengesetz – KWG):

  • Investment broking (the broking of business involving the purchase and sale of financial instruments, e.g. of securities or foreign currency or their documentation)
  • Investment advice (Giving personal recommendations)
  • Operating a multilateral trading system (Representing the interests of a number of persons in buying and selling financial instruments)
  • Placement business (Placement of financial tools without fixed underwriting)
  • Contract broking (the purchase and sale of financial instruments in the name of and for the account of others)
  • Financial portfolio management (the administration of individual portfolios of financial instruments for others on a discriminatory basis)
  • Own-account trading (the purchase and sale of financial instruments on an own-account basis for others)
  • Non-EEA deposit broking (the broking of deposit business with companies situated outside the European Economic Area – EEA)
  • Money transfer services (provision of payment orders)
  • Foreign currency dealings (dealing in foreign notes and coins)
  • Credit card services (issue and administration of credit cards or traveller's cheques, exception if the credit card issuer also provides the services which form the basis of the payment transaction)

Note: You possibly also need a license for financial service providers in accordance with the Trade, Commerce and Industry Regulation Act for other financial services.

Before making an application, please check which license is required for your business.

Responsible authority

the German Federal Financial Service Authority (Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht – BaFin)

Prerequisite

  • You have to have the required funds in Germany, in particular sufficient initial capital. (Depending on the planned activity, different amounts are necessary. They are normally between 50,000 and 730,000 Euros.)
  • You have to be professionally suitable and also personally reliable.
  • You have to present a business plan which describes the following:
    • type of the planned business
    • organisational structure
    • internal control mechanisms
  • Your company has to have at least two managing directors.
  • Your company has to have its headquarters in Germany.
  • Your company has to be in a position to make arrangements to ensure that business is carried out correctly.

Procedure

Transmit the informal written application and three copies of the required documents to the responsible authority.

The application has to contain the following details:

  • legal form of the company
  • headquarters of the company
  • corporate objective
  • managing directors
  • corporate bodies and their structure
  • estimated start of business
  • for which financial services (see § 1 KWG) the license is applied for
  • ceclaration whether they will have the authority to get property, money or securities from the customer and whether they are to trade with financial instruments for their own account
  • facts that point to a close relationship between the financial service company and other natural persons or legal entities.

Required documents

  • as a certified copy:
    • certificate of incorporation
    • deed of partnership or articles of association
  • rules of internal procedure for the management
  • proof of the required financial funds
  • proof of the professional suitability and reliability of the applicant and the managing director:
    • CV (with no gaps and signed) by each owner and each managing director
    • references of each employment relationship which finished in the last three years from each owner and each managing director
  • business plan

Note: If necessary, the BaFin could ask for other documents to be presented.

Miscellaneous

You can get more detailed information in the leaflet for issuing a license to provide financial services in acc. with § 32 Para. 1 KWG of the BaFin.

Costs/Benefits

The amount of the respective charges depends on the work involved to process the application as well as the volume of business of the respective company. Generally the charges are between 5,000 and 30,000 Euros.

N.B. Charges can be imposed even if you withdraw your application or the license is not granted.

Release note

The German original version of this text was drafted in close cooperation with the relevant departments. The Wirtschaftsministerium released it on 15.03.2012. Only the German text is legally binding. The Federal State does not assume any liability for the translated texts.
In cases of doubt or if you have any questions or problems, please contact the relevant authorities directly.
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