Description of the goods or services required
Support with the Crowdfunding Regulation in Jordan
Single Stage Open Competitive Selection – Request for Proposals
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (the “EBRD” or the “Bank”) is planning to initiate a new technical cooperation project in Jordan (the “Project”) to assist the Central Bank of Jordan (“CBJ”) with establishing a legal and regulatory framework regulating crowdfunding activities.
Crowdfunding as an alternative financing method dates back to the 2008 financial crisis, as a result of which businesses – among other difficulties – faced significant problems in raising funds and capital. Crowdfunding refers to an open call to the public to raise funds for a specific project, while crowdfunding platforms are internet platforms that enable interaction between fundraisers and the crowd. Crowdfunding, among other benefits, offers accessible and competitive marketplaces for seeking capital and receiving it quicker and at a lower cost, boost to economic activity, particularly in relation to SMEs (that account for large proportion of employment and added value), as well as increased financial inclusion. There is also evidence that crowdfunding may help women entrepreneurs to obtain investment funding from other women, in situations where women tend to find it difficult to secure financing for their entrepreneurial endeavours.
There are many different crowdfunding business models; the primary types are: (i) equity-based crowdfunding, (ii) debt-based (also known as peer-to-peer (P2P) or marketplace lending), (iii) reward-based crowdfunding and (iv) donation-based crowdfunding.
While crowdfunding has, in all its forms and shapes, been evidently beneficial to the start-up community and entrepreneurs, some of crowdfunding business models, especially debt-based and equity-based crowdfunding, represent certain risks and drawbacks. Supervisors in many countries see fraud, capital loss, money laundering and data loss as significant risks, which gave rise to a global trend of more regulation in the sector of alternative finance. It is expected that by mid-2021 most jurisdictions will be regulating equity-based crowdfunding and more than a third intend to regulate P2P lending; bespoke frameworks will likely become even more common. Regulatory change, however, is not limited to unregulated sectors becoming regulated; it also includes revisions of pre-existing frameworks, often in favour of bespoke ones. Together with addressing the inherent risks and drawbacks that crowdfunding activities represent, bespoke regulations are aimed at adding clarity with respect to the legal treatment of such transactions.
To this end, the CBJ approached the EBRD requesting assistance with – inter alia – establishing a legal and regulatory framework regulating crowdfunding activities. Balancing financial technological innovation with safety and soundness of the financial system has been identified as one of the key challenges by the Financial Stability Department of the CBJ.
The objective of the Project is assisting the CBJ with the following:
(i) reviewing all related legislation including existing banking laws, the draft of finance companies bylaw, payment legislation, companies law and capital markets laws in Jordan and preparing a concept paper recommending a way forward to the CBJ in regulating crowdfunding activities;
(ii) drafting any necessary regulation for crowdfunding activities (the “Crowdfunding Regulation”);
(iii) organising capacity building and/or outreach activities to present international best practice on crowdfunding, the new Crowdfunding Regulation and explain the benefits of crowdfunding to the Jordanian market.
EBRD intends to select and contract a firm or a group of firms (the “Consultant”) in order carry out the tasks of the Project.