On Friday, September 23, the French Prudential Supervision and Resolution Authority (Autorité de contrôle prudentiel et de résolution, ACPR) granted the FIFA Clearing House (FCH) a licence to operate as a payment institution.
The authorisation from the ACPR enables the FCH to collect and process payments on behalf of clubs, in accordance with the European Union Payment Services Directive (PSD2). This means that the FCH now has the green light to get up and running.
The idea of establishing a clearing house came from the FIFA Football Stakeholders Committee and was then endorsed by the FIFA Council. The FCH is governed as an independent entity and has been set up in France, recognising the importance of Paris as a financial hub as well as the global partnership between FIFA and the French authorities.
The FCH has two main objectives. The first is to centralise, process and automate payments between clubs, initially relating to training rewards (training compensation and solidarity contributions), while the second is to promote financial transparency and integrity within the international transfer system.
“The FIFA Clearing House is a key aspect of FIFA’s ongoing efforts in relation to the reform of the transfer system, which are essential to shape the future of football and should be based on the principles of good governance and solidarity,” commented FIFA Vice-President and chairperson of the Football Stakeholders Committee, Victor Montagliani.
Emilio García Silvero, FIFA’s Chief Legal & Compliance Officer, said: “Following the recent decision by the French banking supervisory authority, and after having concluded the necessary banking agreements, we expect to start operating very soon.”
The FCH initiative has been praised by a number of international institutions. For example, the Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption presented a report in May 2021 stating that the FCH would “represent a milestone in achieving comprehensiveness, transparency and integrity of the transfer system around the world”. Similar sentiments were expressed in the report on EU sports policy adopted by the European Parliament in November 2021.
As highlighted by FIFA President Gianni Infantino at the 71st FIFA Congress, there is still a significant imbalance in world football and insufficient rewards for training clubs. To help remedy this, the FCH will ensure that training compensation and solidarity payments are made to the clubs who deserve them. It is estimated that close to USD 400 million should be distributed each year to training clubs, which currently only receive approximately USD 70-80 million.