vLex European Union

  • EU Report on CLO Rating Risks

    The European Securities and Markets Authority has published a report highlighting certain issues related to rating-collateralized loan obligations. ESMA launched a review in May 2019 on the arrangements that the three main credit rating agencies (Fitch Ratings, Moody’s Investors Service and S&P Global Ratings) have adopted to assign and monitor credit ratings on CLO instruments issued and rated in the EU. The review is part of ESMA's work on identifying vulnerabilities to financial stability arising from leveraged loans. Leveraged loans are of concern because of: (i) the excessive level of financial leverage of some corporate issuers; (ii) the weakening of underwriting criteria applied by lending entities; and (iii) the expected evolutions in the credit cycle. (See Article)

    Jun 4, 2020 6:32 AM

  • Public Finance Support (State Aid) Granted to the Automotive Sector

    On 26 May 2020, the French government announced an €8 billion package to rescue the automotive industry and boost electric vehicles. The plan includes the following measures: ..A car scrappage scheme: The scheme includes €1 billion to increase the current State bonus for consumers buying electric cars up to €7,000 (currently at €6,000). Business customers are entitled to a €5,000 subsidy and an additional bonus of €2,000 for the purchase of plug-in hybrids. Eligible vehicles shall no cost more than €50,000 and be able to travel on battery power at least 50 kilometers. The electric bonus will be available from 1 June to 31 December 2020. ..Trade-in premium: Consumers who buy new or used (See Article)

    Jun 4, 2020 6:32 AM

  • Brussels Regulatory Brief: May 2020

    Antitrust and Competition - The Failing Firm Defense in the Face of the COVID-19 Outbreak - As the COVID-19 pandemic causes commercial and financial difficulties, an increasing number of transactions may involve companies in financial difficulty. (See Article)

    Jun 4, 2020 6:32 AM

  • EBA publishes its report on the creation of an STS framework for synthetic securitisations

    Introduction - The European Banking Authority (the “EBA”) has recently published its report on the feasibility of a framework for simple, transparent and standardised (“STS”) synthetic securitisations (the “EBA Report”). The EBA Report follows a discussion paper published by the EBA on 24 September 2019 (the “EBA Discussion Paper”) . We considered some of the key aspects of the Discussion Paper in a previous legal update. Please see full Publication below for more information. (See Article)

    Jun 4, 2020 6:32 AM

  • The European Commission eyes the addition of a market investigation tool to its 60-year-old toolbox - but is it a chisel or a sledgehammer?

    On 2 June 2020, the European Commission published its roadmap on the possible introduction of a ‘new competition tool’ that would allow it to initiate market investigations into perceived structural competition problems, with the ability to impose market-wide remedies on companies. The proposal has obvious parallels to the market investigation tools already in place in the UK. It has the potential to constitute a powerful new weapon in the Commission’s enforcement arsenal. (See Article)

    Jun 4, 2020 6:32 AM

  • European Patent Office COVID-19-Related Extension Period Ends Tuesday, June 2, 2020

    We previously published an alert that the European Patent Office (EPO), had issued a Notice that extended the times to file papers that could not be filed due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The EPO extended most deadlines accruing after March 15, 2020 until April 17, 2020, including deadlines for international applications under the PCT. (See Article)

    Jun 3, 2020 6:32 AM

  • EMIR Alert: Refit Reporting Changes Go Live

    18 June 2020 will mark one year since the EMIR Refit Regulation (the “EMIR Refit”) came into force. On the same date, the reporting responsibility changes introduced by the EMIR Refit will take effect. (See Article)

    Jun 3, 2020 6:32 AM

  • Can a company base the collection and processing of credit card information upon the performance of a sales contract?

    Yes.  The GDPR anticipates that a company may process personal data as long as one (or more) of six lawful purposes applies. One of those lawful purposes relates to the collection of personal data about a person as part of performing a contract with that person.  (See Article)

    Jun 3, 2020 6:32 AM

  • COVID-19: Return to Work Europe

    The COVID-19 emergency led the Member States of the European Union to adopt appropriate preventive measures aimed at achieving a healthy and safe resumption of work activities and avoiding the spread of the virus at the workplace. This article includes the French, German, Italian and United Kingdom perspective. (See Article)

    Jun 3, 2020 6:32 AM

  • Belgian Authority Raises Red Flag for DPOs with Multiple Roles

    Following its investigation of a personal data breach, the Belgian Data Protection Authority (DPA) issued a ruling on April 28, 2020, imposing a €50,000 fine on an organization for negligence in having appointed the company’s head of compliance, risk and audit as its data protection officer (DPO). This decision should cause entities to reconsider appointing a DPO who holds another senior role in the organization. (See Article)

    Jun 2, 2020 2:32 PM

  • COVID-19 Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) – An Overview of Restrictions in Western Europe and the CEE

    Prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, there had been a growing and global trend of established Western economies increasingly scrutinising foreign investment in key sectors. FDI restrictions have been on the European political agenda for at least the past year, originally conceived in response to concerns over China's "Belt and Road" initiative and the EU's ability to compete with the US. They followed the strong precedent set by the US over the last few years, through its use of CFIUS to screen FDI on the grounds of national security and in certain cases block foreign investment, particularly from China. (See Article)

    Jun 2, 2020 8:32 AM

  • Sustainability-linked loan or green loan: Which? When? Why?

    The Loan Market Association ("LMA"), Loan Syndication and Trading Association ("LSTA") and Asia Pacific Loan Market Association ("APLMA") have published new guidance on the key aspects of the Green Loan Principles ("GLP") and the Sustainability-Linked Loan Principles ("SLLP"). In this second of a two part series, we discuss the GLP and the SLLP and which aspects of sustainable finance favour each structure. (See Article)

    Jun 2, 2020 6:32 AM

  • Alert: EPO: Plants and Plant Materials Not Patentable if Exclusively Obtained by Essentially Biological Process

    A recent opinion issued by the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBoA) of the European Patent Office (EPO) has established that plants and plant materials are not patentable if they are exclusively obtained by means of an essentially biological process. This opinion is known as “Pepper” (G3/19). (See Article)

    Jun 1, 2020 4:33 PM

  • A wake up call from Luxembourg?

    Four years after the European Commission (“EC”) thwarted Hutchison’s attempt to consolidate the UK mobile telecoms market through its planned acquisition of O2, the General Court yesterday dealt a crushing blow to the European Commission’s prohibition decision, and with it, the General Court rewrote the rule book on how mergers will be generally reviewed in the future. The decision will have far-reaching implications for merger assessment far beyond the telecoms sector. (See Article)

    Jun 1, 2020 8:32 AM

  • ESA’s consultation on the draft regulatory technical standards of the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation

    The draft regulatory technical standards (RTS) set out detailed information relating to the content, methodology and presentation of certain environmental, social, and governance (ESG) disclosures required under the EU Regulation (EU) 2019/2088 on sustainability-related disclosures in the financial services sector (the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation or SFDR1). These disclosure requirements will have significant implications for asset managers and funds. (See Article)

    Jun 1, 2020 6:32 AM

  • EDPB Signals Efforts on International Data Transfers as CJEU Review of Current Tools Draws Near

    The European Court of Justice (CJEU) recently published plans to issue its much awaited decision in CJEU case C-311/18 (also referred to as “Schrems II”) on July 16. (See Article)

    Jun 1, 2020 6:32 AM

  • High yield bonds: know your numbers

    The coronavirus pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on many businesses, including those with outstanding high yield bonds. The incurrence covenant regime (and absence of any maintenance covenants) means that, provided liquidity is sufficient to make interest payments, high yield issuers may be able to push through the period. However, issuers (and bondholders) should be mindful of the key numbers to consider when a high yield default is on the horizon, to ensure they are organized for any default scenario. (See Article)

    Jun 1, 2020 6:32 AM

  • A Move Towards a New STS Framework for Synthetic Securitisations

    The EBA’s Final Report on the feasibility of a framework for Simple, Transparent and Standardised (STS) Synthetic Securitisations is a cautious step forward. Key Points: ..The EBA has made a proposal to extend the STS framework to synthetic securitisations in balance sheet form subject to compliance with certain criteria. ..The STS criteria are based on those applicable to STS traditional securitisations, which have been adapted to the synthetic space, with the addition of further criteria reflecting specific features of synthetic securitisations. Certain concerns that market participants raised in response to last year’s EBA consultation have been addressed. ..The EBA has also pr (See Article)

    May 29, 2020 4:33 PM

  • DAC6 reporting delay proposed by EU Commission due to COVID-19

    DAC6 summary - Council Directive 2018/822 – known as DAC6 – is the sixth amendment to the EU Directive on Administrative Cooperation 2011/16/EU. DAC6 is aimed at providing the tax authorities with a “warning system” in respect of potentially aggressive tax planning schemes. It does so by imposing an obligation on intermediaries (and, in certain circumstances, on taxpayers) to file information on cross-border arrangements which fall within any one of the ‘hallmarks’ set out in the Directive (“reportable arrangements”) with the relevant EU tax authority. That authority will then share that information with other relevant EU tax authorities by way of automatic information exchange.  (See Article)

    May 29, 2020 2:32 PM

  • Short selling bans and market restrictions – Considerations for investors (Updated May 2020)

    A number of regulators across the globe responded to recent market volatility by introducing temporary short selling bans and/or market restrictions. Such bans have since expired as of 18 May 2020. Other regulators (including the UK) said that there was no evidence to suggest that short selling had been the driver of recent market falls and emphasised the important role short selling plays in liquidity provision and price discovery, but in some cases nonetheless imposed lower thresholds for reporting short positions to ensure that regulators were able to monitor positions closely. (See Article)

    May 29, 2020 6:33 AM

  • EU NanoSafety Cluster Publishes Final Report of (nano) TiO2 Safety Communication Task Force

    On May 26, 2020, the European Union (EU) NanoSafety Cluster announced the publication of the final report of the (nano) TiO2 safety communication Task Force. The goal of the task force was to provide scientific input to the ongoing classification of titanium dioxide (TiO2). (See Article)

    May 29, 2020 6:33 AM

  • COVID-19: EU State Aid Granted to the Hospitality Sector

    A guide to what public finance support (state aid) is available in the EU for the hospitality sector. Please see full Publication below for more information. (See Article)

    May 28, 2020 6:33 AM

  • A Few of my Favourite Things – Excessive Specifications of Goods and Services in EU Trade Marks

    The priority of any brand owner is to protect their marks in relation to the core activities of the business. Many companies however seek broader trade mark protection for a wide range of ancillary products and services including some that often relate to their business activities only tangentially. (See Article)

    May 28, 2020 6:33 AM

  • Study Analyzes Existing Research on Dermal Absorption of Nanomaterials Used in Consumer Products and at Workplaces

    The European Union (EU) Observatory for Nanomaterials (EUON) announced on May 20, 2020, that a recent study has analyzed existing research on whether nanomaterials used in consumer products and at workplaces are absorbed through the skin. The study was commissioned by EUON and carried out by the RPA consortium of Triskelion and the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). (See Article)

    May 27, 2020 6:33 AM

  • What types of “interests” are sufficient to justify processing based upon the legitimate interests of a controller?

    The GDPR prohibits a company from processing personal data unless one of six “lawful purposes” are present. One of those lawful purposes occurs when processing is necessary for a “legitimate interest pursued by the controller or by a third party.” (See Article)

    May 27, 2020 6:33 AM

  • International Lawyers Network: Temporary Layoffs

    This guide offers an overview of legal aspects of temporary layoffs in the requisite jurisdictions. It is meant as an overview in these marketplaces... This guide describes the law in force in the requisite jurisdictions at the dates of preparation. Please see full Guide below for more information. (See Article)

    May 27, 2020 6:33 AM

  • Alert: ESMA Issues Public Statement on Implications of COVID-19 Pandemic on Half-Yearly Financials

    On May 20, 2020, the European Securities and Markets Authority issued a public statement on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the half-yearly financials of listed issuers. In particular, ESMA addressed the preparation of interim financial statements according to International Financial Reporting Standards and interim management reports for 2020 half-yearly reporting periods. (See Article)

    May 27, 2020 6:33 AM

  • EU Consultation on Requirements for Contractual Provisions for Recognition of Stay Powers

    The European Banking Authority has opened a consultation on proposed Regulatory Technical Standards on the contractual recognition of stay powers under the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive. Revisions to the BRRD were published in June 2019. EU Member States are required to transpose the amending Directive into their national laws and to apply the provisions by no later than December 28, 2020, except for provisions relating to the minimum requirement for own funds and eligible liabilities (MREL), which apply from January 1, 2024. The consultation closes on August 15, 2020. (See Article)

    May 25, 2020 8:32 AM

  • European Banking Authority to Act on Dividend Arbitrage Trading Schemes

    In response to the November 2018 request of the European Parliament to conduct an enquiry into dividend arbitrage trading schemes, the European Banking Authority has published a report (dated April 28, 2020) on the approach of national regulators across the EU to tackle market integrity risks associated with dividend arbitrage trading schemes. The EBA has also published a ten-point Action Plan to address the risks arising from such schemes. Both the report and Action Plan accompanied the EBA's letter to the European Parliament that describes its actions and the steps it intends to take in the future on this issue. (See Article)

    May 25, 2020 6:33 AM

  • COVID-19: When EU Tracking Apps Meet the Pandemic, Trust and Privacy by Design Are the Hosts

    As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread around the world and cause unprecedented health and economic challenges, technological measures, once thought extreme, are now being deployed for the purposes of contact tracing, infection tracking, and quarantine compliance. (See Article)

    May 22, 2020 6:32 AM