Considering the official stance of the Financial and Capital Market Commission (FKTK) regarding commercial activities related to selling claim rights to consumer loans on online platforms, and also to ensure the continuity of such business operations, VIAINVEST intends to become a participant of a regulated financial and capital market by obtaining an investment brokerage firm (IBF) licence. Currently, VIAINVEST is going through a licensing process in close cooperation with FKTK, which will become the supervisory authority for the company after obtaining the licence.
“Transparency has always been one of the core priorities for VIAINVEST, and it has certainly served as a significant trust factor for the investors, therefore we believe that the FKTK’s initiative to make the industry more regulated is a step in the right direction. The licensing process is quite complex, however, the prospective supervisory authority has been actively involved, ensuring that the interests of all stakeholders are taken into account. Moreover, securing equal terms for all the participants of the market will significantly decrease potential risks of dishonest business practices, and will also diminish industry reputation risks, thus restoring investor confidence. Given Latvia’s importance in the overall context of the European investment industry, building and maintaining industry’s reputation should become a common goal for all market participants,” explains Eduards Lapkovskis, Member of the Board of VIAINVEST.
As a result of the licensing VIAINVEST will become a participant of a regulated financial and capital market, and will provide services of initial placement of financial instruments and execution of investors’ orders for actions with financial instruments. Currently, the platform provides consumer loan claim rights trading, primarily based on the assignment agreement. Once licensed, these claim rights will be securitized i.e. they will become available for investment as asset-backed securities. However, for the convenience of current customers, VIAINVEST intends to maintain the previous user interface as much as possible. Subject to the requirements of the Investor Protection Law, in the event when the company has not registered financial instruments or the financial instruments have been permanently lost, the statutory class of investors shall be entitled to compensation of 90% of the invested amount up to EUR 20 000, ensured by FKTK.
“To prepare for the upcoming changes in the company’s operations, we have recently increased the company’s share capital to EUR 350 000, and we are actively planning to implement other changes necessary for the operations of the company. We anticipate that during the transition period there will be technical, legal and administrative improvements made to the financial instrument trading, including the provision of detailed information in investment risks, credit quality assessment as well as management of conflict of interest. VIAINVEST aims to make the transition from investing in an investment platform to cooperation with an investment brokerage firm as smooth as possible, therefore we intend to maintain both – the existing design of the platform and the user interface. VIAINVEST is constantly working on innovations – to be ready to meet the requirements of a licensed investment brokerage firm, we have introduced improvements in customer identification and asset valuation procedures, so we hope that the transition to the new system will be efficient and fast,” adds Mr. Lapkovskis.
VIAINVEST is an investment platform currently offering private investors an opportunity to invest in pre-funded loans issued by non-banking lenders. VIAINVEST was launched in December 2016, and since then the platform has attracted nearly 16 000 customers from all over Europe, funding loans with a total value of more than EUR 195 million. VIAINVEST is a subsidiary of an alternative financial services provider – VIA SMS Group.