Author Archives: Jonas Hertner

Cross-Border Transactions in Intermediated Securities: Switzerland Maintains its Lead (Part 2/2)

“The transnational nature of collateral goes beyond the mere (but important) fact that the parties to a swap are often incorporated in different jurisdictions. Collateral may be posted in different currencies, or in the form of government bonds issued by different governments. The collateral is held with intermediaries often incorporated in yet other jurisdictions, with places of business in still other locales. These intermediaries book the collateral in computerized ledgers maintained on servers that may be located elsewhere in the world. And if, as is permitted under the law of some countries, the pledgee (the party that receives the collateral) “repledges” the collateral to yet another party to satisfy its own obligations, which then repledges it again, then lawyers are left to make sense of a constant global movement of collateral in and out of accounts in many jurisdictions in terms of legal rules created to address a far more stationary and localized conception of property and contract rights.”

Annelise Riles, Collateral Knowledge: Legal Reasoning in the Global Financial Markets, p. 43 (University of Chicago Press, 2011)

By Thomas Werlen / Matthias Wühler / Jonas Hertner (Reference: CapLaw-2018-02)

The Enforcement of Clients’ Rights in the Draft Financial Services Act (FinSA) – Update

By Thomas Werlen / Matthias Portmann / Jonas Hertner (Reference: CapLaw-2017-05)

This article is an update of CapLaw-2016-4 in which the Dispatch on the draft Financial Services Act (FinSA) was discussed with a focus on Title 5 aimed to facilitate the enforcement of the rights of clients vis-à-vis Financial Services Providers (FSP). On 4 November 2015, the Swiss Federal Council adopted the Dispatch on the draft FinSA, sending it to parliament for consideration. With regard to the enforcement of rights, the draft proposed three elements: (1) a stricter disclosure obligation of FSP to provide documentation to clients, (2) an obligation of FSP to become affiliated with a certified ombuds body, and (3) new rules governing the allocation of costs in financial market litigation. In comparison with the original bill proposed by the Federal Council, the proposed provisions on the enforcement of rights in the draft FinSA were significantly curtailed after an overwhelmingly negative response from the financial services industry in the consultation proceeding. On 14 December 2016 the draft FinSA was discussed in the Council of States. The Council of States largely followed the draft as proposed by the Federal Council. Most recently, on 25 January 2017, the National Council’s Economic Affairs and Taxation Committee has entered into the debate on the draft FinSA. The Committee will discuss the draft in detail at its meeting on 20/21 February 2017. This will be followed by a debate in the National Council which will likely take place in Spring 2017. The proposed changes by the Council of States related to the enforcement of clients’ rights are discussed below.

U.S. Federal Reserve to Enforce U.S. Bank Resolution Regimes on Cross-Border Financial Contracts, Requiring Counterparties to Relinquish Default Rights

In May 2016, the Board of Governors of the U.S. Federal Reserve System proposed new rules that, if adopted, will constitute a significant shift in the terms of financial contracts such as over-the-counter derivatives, repurchase agreement and securities lending transactions. Under the proposed rules, these qualified financial contracts would have to conform with U.S. special resolution regimes. This would require institutional investors, hedge funds and other market participants to relinquish cross-default rights, including in contracts governed by foreign law, entered into with a foreign party, or for which collateral is held outside the U.S.

The International Swaps and Derivatives Association simultaneously released its ISDA Resolution Stay Jurisdictional Modular Protocol which seeks to allow market participants to comply with the proposed rules in the U.S. and similar rules in other jurisdictions.

In this contribution, we provide a brief overview of these proposals which, if adopted, will significantly affect the terms of many financial transactions.

By Thomas Werlen / Jonas Hertner (Reference: CapLaw-2016-33)

Draft Financial Services Act to Expand Clients’ Enforcement Rights vis-à-vis Financial Services Providers, Leaves Key Questions Unaddressed

While the draft Financial Services Act (FinSA) primarily has a regulatory purpose, it also contains provisions set to effect the private law relationship between providers of financial services and clients. The proposed measures include a claimant-friendly rule regarding the allocation of costs in litigation proceedings, stricter requirements for financial services providers regarding documentation, information and disclosure of documents for the purpose of enforcement of clients’ rights, and a quasi-mandatory ombuds system for all disputes arising out of financial services contracts, including loan contracts, insurance contracts and all normal retail client bank relationships.

By Thomas Werlen / Jonas Hertner (Reference: CapLaw-2016-4)

Global Benchmarks in the Spotlight: An Overview of Investigations into LIBOR and Foreign Exchange Market Manipulations

Worldwide investigations into manipulations of the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) have resulted in settlements between regulators and banks with fines so far exceeding USD 6 billion in total. After a number of banks have admitted in deals struck with regulators to manipulating LIBOR by misreporting borrowing rates, numerous private claimants have followed suit by pursuing individual and class actions. At the same time, evidence gathered by regulators has spurred further investigations into other financial benchmarks, in particular in the foreign exchange market where purported misconduct is expected to trigger further multibillion-dollar fines and civil litigation.

By Thomas Werlen/Jonas Hertner (Reference: CapLaw-2014-14)

The Globalization of Class Actions

In June of this year, the European Commission issued non-binding recommendations inviting member states to introduce collective redress mechanisms at the domestic level. In addition, key EU member states have already implemented or are currently considering introducing class action legislation. This article provides an update on pending proposals towards a EU class action system and gives a brief overview of existing group redress provisions in selected member states.

By Thomas Werlen /Jonas Hertner (Reference: CapLaw-2013-26)