Latest updates

Non-possessory floating pledge: new floating charge under Italian law
Legance – Avvocati Associati
  • Italy
  • 18 October 2019

A recent reform introduced a non-possessory floating pledge to the Italian legal framework. Under the reform, the perfection of such security can take place without the delivery of a pledged asset to the secured creditor, thus introducing an important exception to the general legal framework. Similar to the floating charge structure, the absence of a dispossession requirement enables entrepreneurs to retain the availability of collateral which can be used in the course of the productive cycle.

Classification of stablecoins under Swiss law: FINMA publishes amended guidelines
Meyerlustenberger Lachenal
  • Switzerland
  • 11 October 2019

The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) has published a supplement to its Guidelines on Initial Coin Offerings which outlines how it plans to apply provisions of Swiss supervisory law to projects involving so-called 'stablecoins'. The supplement was prompted by a steady increase in the number of stablecoin projects submitted to FINMA since 2018, including a submission from the Geneva-based Libra Association for an assessment of its Libra project under Swiss supervisory law.

FDF proposes key changes to FinSO and FinlO
Meyerlustenberger Lachenal
  • Switzerland
  • 27 September 2019

The Federal Department of Finance has proposed changes to the draft Financial Services Ordinance (FinSO) and Financial Institutions Ordinance. A significant and welcome change in the draft FinSO is that key information documents for collective investment schemes can be written in English. The Federal Council will make the final decision on the wording of the ordinances and their entry into force in November 2019.

Credit insurance – void assignment for breach of banking secrecy
Schima Mayer Starlinger
  • Austria
  • 27 September 2019

The Supreme Court recently extended to credit insurers its established jurisprudence that banking secrecy may prevent a statutory transfer of credit claims on fulfilment of such claims by a third party. Further, the court affirmed its view that the purpose of making a credit claim recoverable does not constitute an overriding interest that could breach banking secrecy.

Supreme Court strengthens interest rate rules
Hogan Lovells BSTL SC
  • Mexico
  • 20 September 2019

The Mexican courts have issued several precedents to eradicate the existence of usury, allowing judges to discretionally reduce interest rates agreed by the parties. However, some of these precedents contradict each other as to whether the usury prohibition applies to default interest. As such, the First Chamber of the Supreme Court recently issued a decision to clarify these inconsistencies.

Frolicking in the (cash)pool? Hesitant embrace of state-of-the-art cash management
Schima Mayer Starlinger
  • Austria
  • 30 August 2019

The Supreme Court recently dismissed an insolvency administrator's complaint challenging the enforcement of an account pledge provided to a bank as security for a notional cash pool arrangement. The court's guidance on the advantages of cash pooling arrangements and on contractual minimum requirements must be considered when structuring new or reviewing existing cash pool arrangements of any kind.

Legality of foreign currency-denominated loans by Nigerian banks
Aluko and Oyebode
  • Nigeria
  • 26 July 2019

A recent Federal High Court decision has raised doubts as to the legality of foreign currency-denominated facilities. The Central Bank of Nigeria Act makes it clear that the naira is the currency of payment for the domestic supply of goods and services in Nigeria. However, the designation of the naira as legal tender in Nigeria does not suggest that the use of any other currency as a medium of exchange within Nigeria is prohibited.

Cashless money transactions – Mexico's new payment method
Hogan Lovells BSTL SC
  • Mexico
  • 19 July 2019

Digital collection (CoDi) is the latest electronic payment method developed by the Mexican Central Bank, designed to reduce the use of cash and promote competition, while incorporating larger sections of the population into the formal financial sector. It seems that Mexico is moving forward in financial technologies, such as CoDi, and using these developments to promote larger inclusion, competition and transparency for every sector in the country.

Virtual currency regulation
  • Austria
  • 12 July 2019

Austria has no domestic legislation that directly applies to virtual currencies, although operations using cryptocurrencies may fall under existing laws. For instance, platforms for purchasing crypto assets which settle payments in euros require a licence under the Payment Services Act 2018. Purely technical services would not be covered by these licensing requirements, but would most likely be captured by the requirement for a general trade licence necessary for carrying on a trade in Austria.

Act on Nullity compatibility with EU acquis communautaire
  • Croatia
  • 05 July 2019

Since its adoption, the Act on Nullity has caused controversy, with some Croatian scholars and judges expressing their concern about (for example) its constitutionality and contravention of EU law. While most judicial decisions made after the act's enactment have declared loan agreements which fall within the act's scope null and void, some Croatian courts have interpreted the act differently due to its ambiguity.

Representation by proxy in suretyship agreements
Selvi & Ertekin
  • Turkey
  • 07 June 2019

Suretyships are a kind of security commonly used in loan transactions which provide personal security to lenders if a borrower fails to fulfil its payment obligation. The Code of Obligations sets out certain requirements regarding the validity of suretyship agreements and enacting a suretyship agreement by proxy. This article examines these requirements in detail.

Court permits New York DFS suit against OCC regarding fintech charter
Sidley Austin LLP
  • USA
  • 24 May 2019

A federal district judge recently denied a motion to dismiss filed by the US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) in a lawsuit brought by the New York State Department of Financial Services, which challenged the OCC's decision to begin accepting applications from fintech companies for special purpose national bank charters.

Supreme Court clarifies use of choice-of-jurisdiction clauses in adhesion contracts
Hogan Lovells BSTL SC
  • Mexico
  • 17 May 2019

Under Mexican commercial regulations, contracting parties have traditionally been free to determine in their corresponding agreement the jurisdiction in which disputes must be resolved. However, a new binding precedent from the Supreme Court challenges this traditional approach with regard to banking adhesion contracts and is a good example of how Mexico is advancing its consumer protection regulations.

PSD2 implementation in the Grand Duchy – six months later
NautaDutilh Avocats Luxembourg S.à r.l.
  • Luxembourg
  • 10 May 2019

In recent months, the Luxembourg Financial Supervisory Authority (CSSF) has been active and the industry is preparing for the open banking wave. The changes in response to the EU Payment Services Directive aim for a generally positive evolution of the payment scene in Luxembourg. The CSSF has published the fallback exemption request form and adopted several circulars that are applicable to payment service providers.

Amendments to Payment Services Act
Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu
  • Japan
  • 26 April 2019

Cabinet recently submitted a bill to the 198th session of the Diet to amend, among other acts, the Payment Services Act (PSA). The PSA amendments aim to strengthen the regulation of virtual currency exchange service providers. Among other things, the changes concern crypto asset custody, the advertisement and solicitation of crypto assets and crypto asset margin transactions.

Taxation of virtual currencies
  • Croatia
  • 19 April 2019

The Croatian Tax Authority has issued several relevant opinions regarding the taxation of virtual currencies. Since 2015 the Croatian Tax Authority, in line with the European Court of Justice's Skatteverket decision, has exempted virtual currency exchange services from value added tax, established relevant tax treatments for the mining and trading of virtual currencies and provided its opinion on payments in virtual currencies.

Brexit decree-law comes into force
Legance – Avvocati Associati
  • Italy
  • 19 April 2019

The government recently issued Decree-Law 22/2019, which is aimed at ensuring the security, financial stability and integrity of financial markets in the event of a so-called 'hard Brexit'. Under the decree-law, UK banks that carry out activities subject to mutual recognition on the United Kingdom's withdrawal date can continue carrying out their activities in Italy by serving notice to the Bank of Italy. Further, Italian branches of UK banks may continue to carry out their activities by serving notice to the Bank of Italy.

Overview of acts and warnings regarding virtual currencies
  • Croatia
  • 12 April 2019

Virtual currencies and attempts to categorise them have attracted widespread attention. For virtual currencies to be considered electronic money under the Electronic Money Act, they must follow certain rules, including being stored electronically, representing a monetary value and being issued on receipt of funds. However, the Croatian National Bank has warned that trading and paying in virtual currencies cannot be considered payment services under the Payment System Act.

Federal Council proposes several changes to financial market regulations
Meyerlustenberger Lachenal
  • Switzerland
  • 05 April 2019

The Banking Act currently regulates only the main features of the restructuring procedure for banks, while more detailed provisions are given in the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority Banking Insolvency Ordinance. To strengthen legal certainty, the Federal Council has initiated a consultation on a partial revision of the Banking Act, meaning that the rights of bank owners and creditors will now be regulated on the legislative level.

Virtual currencies under Anti-money Laundering Act
  • Croatia
  • 29 March 2019

The current Act on Preventing Anti-money Laundering (AML) and Financing Terrorism does not regulate crypto-assets. However, the proposed new bill on Preventing AML and Financing Terrorism intends to regulate crypto-assets and require legal and natural persons providing exchange services for virtual and fiduciary currencies or wallet custodial services to comply therewith.

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