Securities and investment prospectuses

In order to make well-informed investment decisions, investors must be provided with extensive and reliable information about the issuer and the security concerned. In Germany, securities and other investment products may not be offered for public sale without a prospectus.

To give investors opportunity to gather information on the investments offered and their issuers, the prospectus must be published no later than one working day (including Saturday) prior to the public offer. However, the prospectus may not be published until it has been approved by BaFin.

BaFin checks whether the prospectus contains the minimum information required by law and whether it has been written in a readily comprehensive manner. In the case of securities prospectuses, BaFin also ensures that the prospectus contains no contradictory statements.

BaFin does not, however, examine the integrity of the issuers; neither does it scrutinise the product itself. Issuers of investment products must actually make an explicit reference to that fact in their prospectuses. Offerors are expressly prohibited from promoting their products by making statements which may be misleading regarding the scope of BaFin’s scrutiny. Some providers use statements such as “Prospectus filed with BaFin” in advertisements. BaFin expressly disapproves of this sort of advertising as it provides no indication whatsoever of the quality of the offer or the party offering the securities, but gives the impression that BaFin has endorsed the issue. This is not, however, the case.

For any public offer of securities or investment products, BaFin provides details on whether a prospectus has been filed with BaFin. The database of prospectuses and investment products that have been filed may be accessed here.

updated on: 04.04.2016

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