As a result of the EU Directive 2000/46/EG of 18 September 2000, new legislation in respect of electronic money has been introduced in Sweden. The new act, the Electronic Money Publishing Act (SFS 2002:149), (the “Act”), regulates the right to launch and conduct business by publishing electronic money as well as the supervision of such business.

Electronic money is defined in the Act as a value of money representing a claim against the publisher and which, without existing on an individualized account, is registered on an electronic medium and approved as a value of money also by companies and indivuduals other than the publisher.

The law is applicable to all publishers of electronic money with the exemption of banks and credit market institutions, whose business is already governed by separate legislation for the financial markets. The Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority’s permission is necessary for the publishing of electronic money and the publisher will be subject to the Authority’s supervision. The Authority is, in principle, granted the same supervisory possibilities to control and interact towards publishers of electronic moneys as it already has in respect of banks and other credit market companies under separate financial legislation.

A publisher of electronic money must be a Swedish limited company, a Swedish incorporated association or a foreign company. The Act contains certain qualitative demands on the publishers business, its conduct as well as the ownership and management of such business. There are, for example, strict rules for other business allowed for publishers of electronic money and quite rigorous matching and investment rules.

It is the government’s intention that the Act shall facilitate the use of electronic money and its advantages without preventing the technical development of a system for such money.

Important - The information in this article is provided subject to the disclaimer. The law may have changed since first publication and the reader is cautioned accordingly.