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In Uruguay the regulation of the financial system emanates directly from the law and other administrative regulations. As a general rule, the Central Bank of Uruguay (“CBU”) is the entity that coordinates and oversights the financial industry. Financial services in general and payment services, insurances, investment services, and banking/lending services in particular are subject to especial regulations.
A broad number of financial services activities are regulated in Uruguay, among others, credit services, reception of sight and fixed-term deposits, stockbroking and investment advisory, payment services, fund management, securities issuance, insurances and e-money issuance and administration are all subject to licensing CBU’s oversight.
Banks are the institutions that are more regulated and those that have more powers of action. They are the only ones authorized to (i) receive cash deposits and to authorize the issuance of checks against the moneys deposited in the institution, (ii) receive sight deposits; and (iii) receive fixed-term deposits of residents.
Lending operations are also regulated as long as the same are conducted under certain conditions: the Credit Management Companies are those that in a habitual and professional way intervene in the financing of the sale of goods and services carried out by third parties, granting credit through the use of cards, purchase orders or other similar modalities.
Investment Services and Private Banking are also regulated in Uruguay and may be only carried out by licensed entities. Those investment regulated services include, among others, brokerage services, investment advisory, execution, transmission and reception of orders and portfolio management.
There is an extensive list of regulated financial activities in Uruguay. The following providers of financial services, among others, are required to be licensed in Uruguay: Banks, Retail Banks, Investment Banks, Financial Houses, Offshore Banks, Financial Intermediation Cooperatives, Saving Groups Administrators, Credit Management Companies, Providers of Financial Services, Money Exchange Houses, Representations of Offshore Financial Institutions, Money Transference Companies, Back-Office and Data Processing Service Providers to Offshore Financial Institutions, Money Transport Companies, Companies providing Services for Leasing and Safekeeping of Safe Deposit Boxes, P2P Lending Platform Administrators, Securities Issuers, Stock Exchanges, Brokers, Investment Portfolio Administrators, Investment Advisors, Investment Fund Administrators, Investment Funds, Investment Funds Distributors, Financial Trusts Trustees, Payment Processors, POS terminals and switch services administrators, E-Money Issuers, and Insurance Companies.

Provided By:
Ferrere Abogados: Martin Pesce, associate / Federico Lemos, associate