Portugal’s financial sector has gained increasing attention from international businesses and foreign investors, thanks to its well-regulated market, strategic location on the Atlantic coast, and strong economic growth. As a member of the European Union, Portugal benefits from access to a single market, attracting investment in various financial segments, including banking, insurance, asset management, capital markets, and fintech. Furthermore, the country’s skilled workforce, advanced infrastructure, and business-friendly environment make it an appealing choice for foreign entities seeking to establish a presence in Europe.
Financial regulation in Portugal aims to ensure the stability, transparency, and integrity of its financial sector by adhering to European Union directives, as well as implementing domestic legislation. This comprehensive regulatory framework seeks to foster fair competition, safeguard consumer and investor interests, and mitigate systemic risks that could jeopardize financial stability. The Portuguese financial regulatory system emphasizes the importance of collaboration and information sharing among domestic supervisory authorities and between Portuguese regulators and their international counterparts. Portugal has also taken significant steps to strengthen its financial regulation, adopting international standards and best practices to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.
The principal financial regulators in Portugal and their primary responsibilities are as follows:
Banco de Portugal (Bank of Portugal): As the central bank, the Bank of Portugal is responsible for maintaining financial stability, implementing monetary policy, and managing the country’s foreign exchange reserves. It also serves as the primary regulatory and supervisory body for the banking sector, ensuring compliance with relevant laws and regulations.
Comissão do Mercado de Valores Mobiliários (CMVM, Securities Market Commission): The CMVM is responsible for regulating and supervising Portugal’s securities market, including the issuance, trading, and disclosure of securities. Its primary duties include licensing and supervising financial intermediaries, enforcing compliance with relevant laws and regulations, and promoting transparency and fair competition within the securities sector.
Autoridade de Supervisão de Seguros e Fundos de Pensões (ASF, Insurance and Pension Funds Supervisory Authority): The ASF is the regulatory authority for the insurance and pension funds sectors in Portugal. Its main responsibilities include ensuring the solvency, financial stability, and compliance of insurance and pension fund companies, as well as intermediaries. The ASF also enforces consumer protection measures and promotes transparency within the insurance and pension fund markets.
Unidade de Informação Financeira (UIF, Financial Intelligence Unit): The UIF is responsible for combating money laundering, terrorist financing, and other forms of financial crime. It collects, analyzes, and disseminates financial intelligence to domestic and international partners, working closely with law enforcement agencies and other supervisory authorities.