“Capital Markets Union: breaking down barriers to cross-border investments and accelerating delivery”
The European Commission announced today proposals on (i) covered bonds, (ii) cross-border distribution of investment funds and (iii) the law applicable to cross-border transactions in claims and securities (press release).
The latter issue was dealt with in a previous post on this blog by Louis Coussée. The assignment of a claim refers to a situation where a creditor transfers the right to claim a debt to another person in exchange of a payment. This system is used by companies to obtain liquidity and access credit. At the moment, there is no legal certainty as to which national law applies when determining who owns a claim after it has been assigned in a cross-border case. The new rules proposed today clarify according to which law such disputes are resolved: as a general rule, the law of the country where creditors have their habitual residence would apply, regardless of which Member State’s courts or authorities examine the case.
The measures presented today, and the applicable to cross-border transactions in claims and securities.
The proposals will be presented by May 2018 in order to make it possible that legislation can be adopted before European Parliament elections in 2019.
More information is available from a Fact Sheet issued by the Commission.
A post by guest blogger Louis Coussée
The assignment of a claim is an important legal instrument for the financial market. It enables both simple transfers of claims from one person to another and complex financial operations used to finance the business activity of firms, such as financial collateral arrangements, factoring and securitization. Furthermore, it enables the availability of capital and credit across borders and allows small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to obtain credit at affordable rates. In a globalizing context, such cross-border transactions are a daily routine.
Substantively, there exists no harmonization in the field of the assignment of a claim on EU-level. The question which law is applicable to the assignment of a claim, therefore, can have a huge impact on the outcome of a dispute, when national jurisdictions apply different rules to make an assignment effective against third parties. The Rome-I Regulation contains a provision on the applicable law to the assignment of a claim. However, art. 14 of the Rome-I Regulation does not provide an answer to the most important question, i.e. which law governs the effectiveness of an assignment against third parties. This question is widely discussed and the topic of choice-of-law rules for the assignment of claims in financial services and markets is considered to be one of the most complicated, challenging and arcane. Continue reading “A uniform European regulation on the law applicable to the effectiveness of a cross-border assignment of a claim: no longer the elephant in the room?”