On July 18, 2016 the Knesset approved a new law, the Supervision
of Financial Services (Financial Services Regulation), 2016
("Law"). The Law will require (with certain limited
exceptions) the acquisition of a license in order to provide
financial assets services or credit services. The Law defines a
"financial asset" very broadly, including, inter alia,
cash, checks, securities, and virtual currency in the definition.
"Granting credit" is similarly widely defined, and seems
to also apply to venture capital loans. The Law sets forth
different requirements for basic licenses and broad licenses in
each of the two areas, depending on the scope of activities of the
provider. For example, a broad license for providing credit would
be required for the provision of credit in excess of approximately
25 million shekels, and would be restricted to corporations
incorporated and registered Israel.
The Law also grants a regulator authority to monitor
organizations in these fields, with the objective of developing
financial services alternatives to the banking system and to avert
abuse by criminal factions for illegal purposes.
The Law will come into effect in June 2017 with regard to the
provision of credit services
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