The Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht, BaFin) is a financial market supervisory authority that supervises and controls all areas of finance in Germany, including banks, financial service providers, insurers and securities trading. Its core task is to ensure a stable, functioning and integrated financial system in order to guarantee fair and transparent conditions on the financial markets.
The German public law institution with incorporated status is based in Frankfurt am Main and Bonn and is subject to the judicial and technical supervision of the German Federal Ministry of Finance (Bundesministerium der Finanzen). In addition, BaFin is part of the European Banking Authority (EBA).
BaFin's responsibilities include account supervision, banking supervision and settlement of banks, insurance and pension supervision, securities supervision, legal and technical supervision, as well as law enforcement and the recording and processing of consumer complaints.
It is a criminal offence to conduct banking business and/or provide financial services in Germany without the required authorisation. In order to find out whether a FinTech company in Germany is to obliged to this authorisation requirement, they have to fill out a contact form on the BaFin website as it depends on the individual circumstances:
Virtual Stock Option Plan (VESOP) gives every employee the benefit to be a shareholder of a company without an actual ownership rights structure between employer and employees.
Utility tokens provide access to a product/service and/or represent the right to use a product/service or function of a project.
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