The new Collateral Act implements the EU Financial Collateral Directive in Portugal. It removes some of the legal impediments to, and addresses some of the concerns in connection with, the efficient use of collateral which were identified in reports prepared by various working groups and other committees during the directive's preparation.
Portugal's new Money Laundering Law combines the previous rules on this subject in one piece of legislation, implements the EU Money Laundering Directive and inserts a new section on money laundering into the Penal Code. The law imposes identification obligations on financial institutions and requires them to be vigilant for signs of money laundering.
The Portuguese anti-money laundering regulations were recently amended by several decree laws which impose stricter obligations on credit and financial institutions in order to assist in the fight against money laundering. The decree laws set out new identification requirements and rules governing judicial investigations into suspected money laundering.
The General Law on Credit Institutions and Financial Companies was recently amended, making certain changes to the banking rules which have become necessary due to the implementation of European regulations. One of the key changes is the recognition of two new types of credit institution - e-money institutions and financial credit institutions.
The use of financial advisers to promote banking and financial services as a way for banks to reduce costs and broaden their customer base has increased. The Bank of Portugal has thus laid down requirements with which financial institutions should comply when using third parties to promote their authorized activities to the public.
A new General Law on Credit Institutions and Financial Companies is awaiting approval from the Bank of Portugal. It is expected to introduce significant changes to several aspects of the banking rules. Meanwhile the Bank of Portugal has issued guidelines on internet banking services.
Portuguese banks are obliged to set aside reserves in order to cover certain types of exposure to which they are subject. The deadline by which these funds must be allocated was recently reduced. Meanwhile, the Tax Code was amended to provide that such reserves will no longer be tax deductible.
Two recent decree-laws have implemented European regulations on credit institutions, including those relating to their establishment and regulation, solvency ratios and capital adequacy requirements.
The EU Finality Directive has been implemented in Portugal. Security systems must be registered with the Securities Market Commission and subsequently with the European Commission. The directive also establishes the finality of a financial settlement and the enforceability of collateral security.
Including: Analysis of the Economy in 1999; Provisions for the Year 2000; New Functions of the Bank of Portugal
A new law has introduced securitization, which will encourage competition. The law sets out the regulations covering this innovation.
Financial legislation is being reviewed in preparation for the euro being adopted as currency. This ranges from altering the word ‘escudo’ to ‘euro’ and redefining things, such as minimum amounts on capital stock, in euros.
Including: Definitions and Types; The Setting-Up; Provision of Services; Registration; Relation between Credit Institutions and the Central Bank; Legislation
The National Bank New Statute will help to integrate the National Bank with the Central Bank’s European system. However, until the euro is adopted, the current statute remains in force, modified by Law 5/98, which includes a failsafe clause should Portugal decide not to adopt the euro.
Decree Law of May 16 1998, is the first piece of legislation to prepare for the euro. It deals with issues as diverse as coinage and the currency in which taxes may be paid.