Italy: What happened in 2019 and significant events in 2020
With Law Decree No. 22 of 25 March 2019 (so-called “Brexit Decree”), converted into law by Law No. 41 of May 2019, Italy has set out the transitional measures that would apply in a “hard-Brexit” scenario, to ensure continuity of markets and institutions in the financial sector. For those types of entities for which a third country local regime exists (banks, investment firms and e-money institutions), the Brexit Decree provides for an 18-month transitional period starting from the “withdrawal date”. However, the ability to fully rely on the transitional period is subject to, inter alia, submission of a prior notification by the UK firm to the competent Italian authority and the filing of an application to obtain a third-country local license in Italy within six months of the withdrawal date. The relevant forms and instructions have been made available on the Bank of Italy and CONSOB websites, respectively.
5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive
With Legislative Decree No. 125 of 4 October 2019, the Italian government has transposed the 5TH AML Directive (Directive (EU) 2018/843) into Italian law. Among other changes, this Legislative Decree (i) broadens the scope of the providers of services related to the use of virtual currencies that are subject to the Italian AML regulations, by including the exchanges who convert virtual currencies into other virtual currencies and custodian wallet providers; (ii) expands the powers and the exchanges of information between national authorities and (iii) improves safeguards on transactions involving high-risk third countries.
Benchmark Regulation/Securities Financing Transactions Regulation
With Legislative Decree No. 19 of 13 February 2019, which came into force on 28 March 2019, the Italian Government has made the necessary changes to the indices used as benchmarks in financial instruments and contracts or for measuring the performance of investment funds; and of Regulation (EU) 2015/2365 on the transparency of securities financing transactions and re-use.
the TUF (i.e., Legislative Decree no. 58 of 24 February 2018, the Italian Financial Act) and the CAP (i.e., Legislative Decree no. 209 of 7 September 2005, the Italian Insurance Code) has been approved by the Council of Ministers on 21 November 2019 and will soon be published in the Official Gazette. The decree intends to complete the transposition process of MiFID II (originally implemented into Italian law with Legislative Decree No 129/2017), with supplementary and corrective provisions, which include: (i) eliminating the obligation to send a prior notice to CONSOB concerning the PRIIPs’ KID; (ii) modifying certain provisions on the off-the-premises offer of financial products and services; (iii) aligning the notions of small and medium-sized enterprises; and (iv) modifying the sanctions regime, also allowing CONSOB to sanction insurance distributors.
With Legislative Decree No. 147 of 13 December 2018, the Italian Government has implemented Directive (UE) 2016/2341 on the activities and supervision of institutions for occupational retirement provision (“IORP2 Directive”) into Italian law. This measure contains a number of amendments and additions to the Italian Regulation on Pension Funds (i.e. Legislative Decree no. 252 of 5 December 2005), with particular reference to their governance and the transparency towards their members.