Banking and Finance
On September 10, the Advocate General (AG) issued his opinion on a preliminary ruling to be rendered by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) regarding a lawsuit in Spain over the validity, under the European directive on unfair terms in consumer contracts (Directive 93/13), of a contractual clause referencing a local interest rate benchmark in floating rate residential mortgage loans. The press has regarded the opinion as unfavorable to the banks. If upheld by the CJEU, it could mark a turning point in the underlying lawsuits. A final negative outcome could provoke massive losses for a number of Spanish banks with the possibility to accelerate a wave of domestic and European bank mergers.
The Colombian government issued Decrees 1420 of 2019, 1421 of 2019 and 1349 of 2019, modifying the equity requirements for asset managers of third parties, credit establishments and insurance entities, in order to adapt them to international standards.
On the 28th of August 2019 the law implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/2402 of the European Parliament and of the Council, of 12 December 2017 (“Regulation”), laying down a general framework for securitisation and creating a specific framework for simple, transparent and standardised securitisation was published in Portugal’s Official Journal (Diário da República), entering into force on 29 August 2019 (Law no. 69/2019, of 28 August).
Two crucial steps for orderly implementation of a new EURIBOR benchmark compliant with the European Benchmarks Regulation (BMR) have just taken place. One is the authorization of EURIBOR administrator EMMI, and the other, the recent publication of the official statement describing the methodology and other technical specifications for the benchmark. These milestones are very important, but there continue to be legal risks and everyone would be well advised to pay more attention than ever before to how things unfold in the coming months.
The Libra Association, founded by Facebook and 27 other organizations, intends to promote the construction of a global financial infrastructure and issue from it a new cryptocurrency called Libra, enabling operators to carry out payment transactions and other financial solutions for consumers and businesses throughout the world.
The Colombian government released a technical document analyzing ways to extend the use of financial services, promoting access to technological innovation.
In the context of the Capitalizar (Capitalize) Program – which has already implemented several changes to Portugal’s legal system – the new simplified legal regime for assignment of credit portfolios was enacted on 28 March 2019 and will come into force on 1 July 2019 (Decree-Law 42/2019, of 28 March) (“Assignment of Credit Portfolios Simplified Regime”).
In response to the digital transformation of services for the storage, processing and use of data, and to promote the use of cloud computing for the provision of financial services, the Colombian Finance Authority (Superintendencia Financiera de Colombia or “SFC”) has issued External Circular no. 005- 2019, in which it sets out instructions relating to the use of cloud computing services.
The Garrigues Digital Forum has brought together regulators from Spain, Portugal and Colombia, and representatives from the private sector, to analyze the challenges involved in the regulation of innovative technology-based financial services.