Authorisation

Those interested in exercising the credit intermediary activity must submit the application for authorisation to Banco de Portugal via the electronic form below (only in Portuguese).

Form

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Before completing the application form, interested parties must:

  • Read carefully the information contained on the Bank Customer Website;

  • Scan all of the documents required for the submission of the application separately and legibly (in black and white or colour);

  • Have all the information necessary to complete the form;

  • Have the credentials of access to the website of the Ministry of Finance in their possession.

Banco de Portugal shall notify the interested party of its decision within 90 days of receipt of the request for authorisation. However, if Banco de Portugal wishes to request clarifications or additional elements, this period may be extended up to 180 days from the date of initial submission of the request.

 

Access requirements

For natural or legal persons

To exercise the credit intermediary activity, interested parties that are natural persons must:

  • Have Portuguese nationality, of another Member State of the European Union or third country in relation to the European Union that grants reciprocal treatment to Portuguese nationals in the context of the activity of credit intermediaries;

  • Have their professional domicile in national territory;

  • Be of age;

  • Have legal capacity to practice commercial acts;

  • Be of recognised good reputation;

  • Have an appropriate level of knowledge and skills in terms of credit agreements;

  • Have commercial and administrative organisational skills appropriate to the exercise of the credit intermediary activity and, where appropriate, to the provision of advisory services;

  • Have insurance against civil liability for the exercise of the credit intermediary activity, or any other equivalent guarantee.

To exercise the credit intermediary activity, interested parties that are legal persons must:

  • Be a private limited company or public limited company;

  • Have their headquarters and central administration in national territory;

  • Have commercial and administrative organisation appropriate to the exercise of the activity;

  • Have insurance against civil liability for the exercise of the credit intermediary activity, or any other equivalent guarantee.

  • Have members of the board of directors that:

    • Are of age;

    • Have the legal capacity to practice commercial acts;

    • Be of recognised good reputation;

    • Have an appropriate level of knowledge and skills;

    • Not be in a situation that is incompatible with the performance of their duties.

General requirements

In order to consider that the interested parties have a commercial and administrative organisation appropriate to the exercise of the activity, it is necessary that they:

  • Have computerised means to enable electronic communication and access to the Internet;

  • Have their own archive;

  • Have an establishment open to the public or, if they wish to carry out the activity through means of distance communication, have a website and guarantee adequate means to assist consumers.

Interested parties shall be deemed to have adequate knowledge and expertise when, as an alternative:

  • They have compulsory schooling and professional certification that can be obtained by undergoing training for the exercise of credit intermediary activity;

  • They have an academic degree, a technical and vocational higher diploma or post-secondary diploma training course whose curriculum includes the minimum contents of the vocational training referred to above.

The vocational training for the exercise of the credit intermediary activity must be provided by a training entity certified by Banco de Portugal. Banco de Portugal publishes a list of certified training entities.

Where interested parties intend to engage in the credit intermediary activity or to provide advisory services only in relation to consumer credit agreements, the knowledge and skills requirements are deemed to have been fulfilled with the appointment of at least one manager responsible for the credit intermediary activity.

If interested parties wish to carry out the credit intermediary activity or provide advisory services in relation to home loan agreements, they must ensure that their employees also have the appropriate level of knowledge and skills.

In order to be a credit intermediary, interested parties that are natural persons, members of the management bodies of the interested parties that are legal persons and the manager responsible for the activity, if appointed, must have recognised reputation.

In order to verify compliance with this requirement, interested parties must, in particular, fill out the individual questionnaire for consideration by Banco de Portugal of the requirement of reputation, contained in Instruction No. 16/2017 (only in Portuguese).

The assessment of reputation shall take account of the way in which the person habitually conducts business or carries out the profession, in particular in those aspects which demonstrate their ability to decide in a judicious manner, the punctual fulfilment of their obligations and conduct compatible with the preservation of market confidence as well as all the circumstances that make it possible to assess the professional conduct for the duties in question.

In view of their role, credit intermediaries have increased duties of diligence and respect for consumer rights.

Therefore, the regime that regulates the activity of credit intermediaries provides incompatibilities for the respective exercise, in order to avoid conflicts of interest.

Non-tied credit intermediaries must also meet the following requirements:

  • Their exclusive purpose must be that of the credit intermediary activity;

  • Their share capital must not involve:

    • Credit institutions;

    • Financial companies;

    • Payment institutions;

    • Electronic money institutions;

    • Tied credit intermediaries;

    • Credit intermediaries in an ancillary capacity;

    • A company that participates in its share capital through the persons mentioned in the previous points and, when applicable, by companies linked to them.

  • They must not participate in the share capital of:

    • Credit institutions;

    • Financial companies;

    • Payment institutions;

    • Electronic money institutions;

    • Tied credit intermediaries;

    • Credit intermediaries in an ancillary capacity, if they assume the nature of a legal person;

    • A company that participates in its share capital through the persons mentioned in the previous points and, when applicable, by companies linked to them.

The members of the management bodies of the credit intermediary and the managers responsible for the credit intermediary activity may not:

  • Carry out the credit intermediary activity individually;

  • Perform identical functions in more than one credit intermediary (unless they are members of the board of directors of tied credit intermediaries belonging to the same corporate group).

Specific requirements for each credit intermediary category

In order to be a tied intermediary credit and a credit intermediary in an ancillary capacity, the interested parties, whether natural or legal persons, must enter into a binding agreement with a single lender or with a group of lenders, provided that they do not represent the majority of the market.

The binding agreement must contain at least the following elements:

  • Identification of the parties;

  • Indication of the services to be provided by the intermediary, expressly mentioning the existence of proxy powers, where this is the case;

  • If applicable, indicate the exclusive nature of the link with the lender;

  • Subjection of the credit intermediary to the fulfilment of the duties of information and transparency;

  • Mention of the duty of secrecy to which credit intermediaries are bound;

  • Insertion of the obligation of the credit intermediary to provide the lender with the necessary information so that the lender can integrate the activity of the credit intermediary into its overall risk control system and fulfill the duties of providing Banco de Portugal with information;

  • Indication of the remuneration to be paid by the lender to the credit intermediary, specifying the form of determination and the rules for its updating;

  • Mention that the insurance against civil liability of the credit intermediary or equivalent guarantee is provided by the lender, if applicable;

  • Term of the agreement.

In situations where the credit intermediary is authorised to produce advertising on credit products, this agreement must also:

  • Make express reference to the authorisation to carry out advertising, identifying the lenders who granted this authorisation;

  • Describe the conditions and procedures necessary for the prior approval by the relevant lender of the advertising produced by the credit intermediary.

During the term of the agreement and up to five years after its expiration, the binding agreement must be kept on file and easily accessible.

Only legal persons can be non-tied credit intermediaries.

Non-tied credit intermediaries must enter into a credit intermediation agreement with the consumer, in paper or other durable medium.

The non-tied credit intermediary must give the consumer a copy of the credit intermediation agreement.

The intermediation agreement must specify:

  • The identification details, such as the trade name or company name, registered office, registration number of the credit intermediary in Banco de Portugal, the means available to the consumer to verify such registration as well as contacts for the purpose of carrying out the activity;

  • The indication that it is a non-tied credit intermediary;

  • The indication of authorised credit intermediation services and, where applicable, the fact that it is authorised to provide advisory services;

  • The identification of the credit operation object of the credit intermediary’s intervention;

  • The minimum number of proposals to be presented to the consumer;

  • The express mention of the binding nature of the credit agreement proposals to be presented, if applicable;

  • The price of the services to be provided and other charges to be borne by the consumer, both for credit intermediation and for the provision of advisory services, if applicable;

  • The reference to the fact that the credit intermediary is prohibited from receiving or delivering any amounts related to the formation, execution and early compliance of credit agreements;

  • The reference to the fact that the credit intermediary is not allowed to enter into credit agreements on behalf of the lenders;

  • The identity of the entity that guarantees the civil liability for the credit intermediary activity and, in the cases where the insurance against civil liability agreement is subscribed, the respective insurance agreement number and period of validity;

  • The indication that their activity as a credit intermediary is subject to the supervision of the Banco de Portugal;

  • The right of the consumer to resolve the intermediation agreement, without need of justification, within three days of the date on which the agreement was entered into.

 

Documents necessary

Documents must be scanned separately and legibly (black and white or colour).

Documents relating to the interested party:

  • Document proving identity;

  • Individual questionnaire to assess the requirement of reputation, duly completed, according to the template defined in Instruction No. 16/2017 (only in Portuguese);

  • Certificate of valid and updated criminal record;

  • Document with a detailed description of the training path and professional experience of the interested party in the last five years;

  • Document relating to knowledge and skills:

  • Document relative to civil liability insurance:

    • Civil liability insurance agreement subscribed by the interested party or, in the legally established situations, by the lender with whom the interested party intends to enter into a binding agreement; or

    • Document proving the ownership of the guarantee equivalent to the civil liability insurance provided by the lender with whom the interested party intends to enter into a binding agreement; or

    • Statement by the lender or group of lenders regarding their responsibility for the performance of the interested party in the exercise of the credit intermediary activity, in the cases provided for in Article 15 (5) and (6) of the legal regime of credit intermediaries, if applicable;

  • Draft binding agreement.

 

Documents to be attached if the interested party intends to carry out the activity of credit intermediary or provide advisory services relating to home loan agreements:

The interested party must also submit the application for authorisation with the following documents relating to each of the employees:

Documents relating to the interested party:

  • Document proving identity;

  • Individual questionnaire to assess the requirement of reputation, duly completed, according to the template defined in Instruction No. 16/2017 (only in Potuguese);

  • Certificate of valid and updated criminal record;

  • Document relative to civil liability insurance:

    • Civil liability insurance agreement subscribed by the interested party or, in the legally established situations, by the lender with whom the interested party intends to enter into a binding agreement; or

    • Document proving the ownership of the guarantee equivalent to the civil liability insurance provided by the lender with whom the interested party intends to enter into a binding agreement; or

    • Statement by the lender or group of lenders regarding their responsibility for the performance of the interested party in the exercise of the credit intermediary activity, in the cases provided for in Article 15 (5) and (6) of the legal regime of credit intermediaries, if applicable;

  • Draft binding agreement.

 

Documents relating to the manager:

Documents relating to the interested party:

  • Updated articles of association;

  • Draft amendment of the articles of association, if applicable;

  • Documents proving the identity of the natural and legal persons that participate in its share capital;

  • Declaration relating to the fulfilment of the specific requirements set forth in Article 18 (2) of the legal regime of credit intermediaries, if applicable (only in Portuguese);

  • Document describing the organisational structure of the company, specifying the governance arrangements implemented and the administrative and accounting procedures adopted;

  • Document relative to civil liability insurance:

    • Civil liability insurance agreement subscribed by the interested party or, in the legally established situations, by the lender with whom the interested party intends to enter into a binding agreement; or

    • Document proving the ownership of the guarantee equivalent to the civil liability insurance provided by the lender with whom the interested party intends to enter into a binding agreement; or

    • Statement by the lender or group of lenders regarding their responsibility for the performance of the interested party in the exercise of the credit intermediary activity, in the cases provided for in Article 15 (5) and (6) of the legal regime of credit intermediaries, if applicable;

  • Draft binding agreement, if applicable.

     

Note: The application for authorisation must contain an indication of the access code to the permanent certificate of the commercial register with a period of validity of no less than six months.

 

Documents relating to each member of the board of directors:

 

Documents relating to each of the members of the supervisory bodies and board of the general meeting:

  • Document proving identity.

 

Documents to be sent if the interested party intends to carry out the activity of credit intermediary or provide advisory services relating to home loan agreements:

The interested party must also submit the application for authorisation with the following documents relating to each of the employees:

Documents relating to the interested party:

  • Updated articles of association;

  • Draft amendment of the articles of association, if applicable;

  • Documents proving the identity of the natural and legal persons that participate in its share capital;

  • Declaration relating to the fulfilment of the specific requirements set forth in Article 18 (2) of the legal regime of credit intermediaries, if applicable (only in Portuguese);

  • Document describing the organisational structure of the company, specifying the governance arrangements implemented and the administrative and accounting procedures adopted;

  • Document relative to civil liability insurance:

    • Civil liability insurance agreement subscribed by the interested party or, in the legally established situations, by the lender with whom the interested party intends to enter into a binding agreement; or

    • Document proving the ownership of the guarantee equivalent to the civil liability insurance provided by the lender with whom the interested party intends to enter into a binding agreement; or

    • Statement by the lender or group of lenders regarding their responsibility for the performance of the interested party in the exercise of the credit intermediary activity, in the cases provided for in Article 15 (5) and (6) of the legal regime of credit intermediaries;

  • Draft binding agreement, if applicable.

 

Note: The application for authorisation must contain an indication of the access code to the permanent certificate of the commercial register with a period of validity of no less than six months.

 

Documents relating to each member of the board of directors:

 

Documents relating to each of the members of the supervisory bodies and board of the general meeting:

  • Document proving identity.

 

Documents relating to the manager:

Documents relating to the interested party:

  • Draft articles of association;

  • Previous certificate of admissibility of trade name or company name;

  • Documents proving the identity of natural and legal persons that wish to be founding members;

  • Declaration of the interested party relating to the fulfilment of the specific requirements set forth in Article 18 (2) of the legal regime of credit intermediaries, if applicable (only in Portuguese);

  • Document describing the organisational structure of the company, specifying the governance arrangements implemented and the administrative and accounting procedures adopted;

  • Document relative to civil liability insurance:

    • Civil liability insurance draft to be subscribed by the interested party or, in the legally established situations, by the lender with whom the interested party intends to enter into a binding agreement; or

    • Document proving the ownership of the guarantee equivalent to the civil liability insurance provided by the lender with whom the interested party intends to enter into a binding agreement; or

    • Statement by the lender or group of lenders regarding their responsibility for the performance of the interested party in the exercise of the credit intermediary activity, in the cases provided for in Article 15 (5) and (6) of the legal regime of credit intermediaries, if applicable;

  • Draft binding agreement, if applicable.

 

Documents relating to each of the natural persons to be appointed to the board of directors:

 

Documents relating to each of the natural persons to be appointed to the supervisory body or board of the general meeting:

  • Document proving identity.

 

Documents to be sent if the interested party intends to carry out the activity of credit intermediary or provide advisory services relating to home loan agreements:

The interested party must submit the application for authorisation with the following documents relating to each of the employees they wish to recruit:

Documents relating to the interested party:

  • Draft articles of association;

  • Previous certificate of admissibility of trade name or company name;

  • Documents proving the identity of natural and legal persons that wish to be founding members;

  • Declaration of the interested party relating to the fulfilment of the specific requirements set forth in Article 18 (2) of the legal regime of credit intermediaries, if applicable (only in Portuguese);

  • Document describing the organisational structure of the company, specifying the governance arrangements and the administrative and accounting procedures to be implemented;

  • Document relative to civil liability insurance:

    • Civil liability insurance draft to be subscribed by the interested party or, in the legally established situations, by the lender with whom the interested party intends to enter into a binding agreement; or

    • Document proving the ownership of the guarantee equivalent to the civil liability insurance provided by the lender with whom the interested party intends to enter into a binding agreement; or

    • Statement by the lender or group of lenders regarding their responsibility for the performance of the interested party in the exercise of the credit intermediary activity, in the cases provided for in Article 15 (5) and (6) of the legal regime of credit intermediaries;

  • Draft binding agreement, if applicable.

 

Documents relating to each of the natural persons to be assigned to the board of directors:

Documents relating to each of the natural persons to be appointed to the supervisory body or board of the general meeting:

  • Document proving identity.

 

Documents relating to the natural person to be appointed as manager:

Banco de Portugal may require other elements necessary to demonstrate compliance with the requirements for access to the activity of credit intermediaries.

 

Refusal of authorisation

Banco de Portugal refuses the application for authorisation where:

  • The request is not accompanied by all the necessary elements and documents;

  • The application contains inaccuracies or falsities;

  • The established requirements for access to the activity are not met.

In cases where the application for authorisation or the documentation submitted contains insufficiencies or irregularities that may be remedied, prior to refusing authorisation, Banco de Portugal shall notify the interested party, setting a reasonable period of time for the correction of the insufficiencies or irregularities.

The decision on the application for authorisation by Banco de Portugal must be notified to the interested party within a maximum of 90 days of receipt of the application for authorisation. However, should Banco de Portugal requests clarifications or additional information, the deadline can be extended up to 180 days after the date of the initial delivery of the application.

 

Expiration or revocation of authorisation

The authorisation granted to credit intermediary expires:

  • When the intermediary expressly waives authorisation, by means of an application addressed to Banco de Portugal;

  • In the case of the death of the credit intermediary when he or she is natural person or the dissolution of the company in the case of a legal person; or

  • When the interested party that intends to exercise the activity as a legal person, which at the time the initial application was submitted to Banco de Portugal, was not incorporated as a commercial company, does not apply for registration with Banco de Portugal within six months of notification of the authorisation or after tacit approval.

The authorisation to carry out the activity may also be revoked, in particular, for the following reasons:

  • Authorisation obtained through false or inaccurate or unlawful statements;

  • Supervening lack of any of the requirements of access to the activity of credit intermediary;

  • Serious or repeated violation of the rules of the exercise of credit intermediary activity;

  • Not performing the credit intermediary activity or the provision of advisory services in the previous six months.

The revocation of the authorisation is publicised by Banco de Portugal, which adopts measures for the immediate cessation of the exercise of this activity.