Banking

Banking and Financial Institutions Newsletter – Issue No. 3 (February 2014)

Authors: Conrad Portanier, Leonard Bonello, Lorraine Poole, Beppe Sammut
Published on February 5, 2014
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Practices: Banking Regulatory, Derivatives, E-Money & Payment Services, Financial Markets Regulation
The third issue of the Banking & Financial Institutions Newsletter published by the Banking and Finance team at GANADO Advocates is available for download from the link below.

Banking Regulation 2013 – Malta

Authors: Conrad Portanier, Leonard Bonello
Published on July 25, 2013
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Practices: Banking Regulatory
GANADO Advocates is pleased to announce that it has participated in the fully revised and updated sixth edition of Banking Regulation, which provides international analysis in key areas of law and policy for corporate counsel, cross-border legal practitioners and business people. Following the format adopted throughout the series, the same key questions are answered by leading practitioners in each of the 28 jurisdictions featured.

CJEU Crystallises the Definition of a ‘Payment Account’

Authors: James Debono
Published on May 3, 2019
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Practices: E-Money & Payment Services
In October last year, the European Court of Justice (CJEU or the Court) hammered home the circumstances under which an online savings account can be excluded from the definition of the ‘payment account’ under the Directive 2007/64 (Payment Services Directive or PSDI), thereby rendering the latter inapplicable. Case C-191/17, Bundeskammer für Arbeiter und Angestellte v ING-DiBa Direktbank Austria Niederlassung der ING-DiBa AG, was the first occasion wherein the Court had to:

COVID-19: European Central Bank (ECB) announces €750 billion Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme (“PEPP”)

Authors: Julienne Bencini, Luke Hili
Published on March 23, 2020
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Given the market volatility of the past week or so, the US Federal Reserve recently announced that it would be slashing interest rates to near zero levels - which is as low as it can be without going negative. In addition, it also announced a $700 billion quantitative easing programme to help the economy absorb the negative effects of the coronavirus outbreak. Quantitative easing is a way for the Federal Reserve to inject money into the economy by purchasing assets: in this case $500bn in Treasury Securities and $200bn in mortgage-backed securities. This is the Federal Reserve’s response to the financial crisis; which aims to significantly help mitigate the effects of its aftermath. The European Central Bank (ECB) has also intensified its efforts against the economic onslaught brought about by COVID-19 by launching a €750bn asset-purchase programme of its own – aptly dubbed the "Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme" (PEPP). After digesting the complexities of the PEPP, many economists in the Eurozone were quick to react by stating that the ECB disappointed expectations, as it has not cut interest rates despite the Eurozone diving towards a possible recession.

Cross-border payments in the EU and currency conversion charges: the revised Cross-Border Regulation (“CBPR2”) and the national authorities’ flexibility in enforcing the currency conversion transparency requirements due to the COVID-19 crisis

Authors: Julienne Bencini
Published on April 27, 2020
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Practices: Banking Regulatory
Just under two decades ago, the European Parliament issued a Regulation on cross-border payments geared towards facilitating cross-border trade within the Union by ensuring that cross-border payment charges across Member States are the same regardless of participation in the euro area, though unfortunately, this Regulation excluded non-euro area Member States [1]. For non-euro Member States, domestic payments in euro are very costly allowing for payment service providers (PSPs) to price a transaction differently where a currency conversion is involved. This undoubtedly creates obstacles to the full integration of businesses and citizens in non-euro area Member States affecting their competitiveness which is at the heart of the European Single Market.

EBA Statement on Supervisory Reporting and Pillar 3 disclosures in light of COVID-19

Authors: Caroline Gauci
Published on April 2, 2020
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Practices: Banking Regulatory
On 31 March 2020, the European Banking Authority (EBA) has issued a new statement on supervisory reporting and Pillar 3 disclosures in light of COVID-19. This statement provides further possible actions to be taken by institutions, Competent Authorities (CAs) and Resolution Authorities (RAs) to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the EU banking sector.

ECB Recommendation on Dividend Distribution during the COVID-19 Pandemic and Repealing Recommendation ECB/2020/1

Authors: Vanessa Anne Gatt
Published on March 30, 2020
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Practices: Banking Regulatory
On 27 March 2020, the European Central Bank (“ECB”) issued a recommendation whereby it held that the conservation of capital resources by credit institutions should take priority at present over discretionary dividend distributions and share buy-backs amid the COVID-19 related economic shock. The ECB deems it crucial that credit institutions be able to continue to fulfil their role in funding households as well as small and medium businesses in an economy of heightened uncertainty owing to COVID-19.

MFSA issues Circular to Credit Institutions on Dividend Distributions or Share Buybacks

Authors: Caroline Gauci
Published on April 3, 2020
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Practices: Banking Regulatory
On 2nd April, the Malta Financial Services Authority (the “MFSA”) issued a circular to credit institutions on dividend distributions or share buybacks. In the Circular the MFSA announces that it shall be adopting the Recommendation of the ECB of 27 March 2020 on dividend distributions during the COVID-19 pandemic (ECB/2020/19) in its entirety to all credit institutions licensed in terms of the Banking Act (Chapter 371 of the Laws of Malta) from today and at least until 01 October 2020.

Mind your IBANS, says CJEU

Authors: James Debono
Published on December 5, 2019
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Practices: Banking Regulatory
At the end of March this year, the European Court of Justice (CJEU or the Court) explained the principles behind Articles 74 and 75 of Directive 2007/64 (Payment Services Directive or PSDI) which provisions relate to payment orders effected by means of a bank transfer following the input of the incorrect unique identifier (such as an international bank account number or IBAN) by the payer. PSDI defines a ‘unique identifier’ as a combination of letters, numbers or symbols specified to the payment service user by the payment service provider and to be provided by the payment service user to identify unambiguously the other payment service user and/or his payment account for a payment transaction.

Recent Developments in EU Consumer Protection: Judgment of the Court of Justice (First Chamber)

Authors: Christina Scicluna
Published on November 5, 2019
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Practices: General Commercial & Contract Law
On 11 September 2019, the Court of Justice (First Chamber) delivered its opinion in the Polish case Lexitor sp. z o.o. (C-383/18) interpreting Article 16(1) of EU Directive 2008/48/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2008 on credit agreements for consumers following the opinion of Advocate General Hogan which was delivered on 23 May 2019.

The European Passport Rights for Financial Institutions Regulations, 2020

Authors: Catherine Formosa
Published on June 4, 2020
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Practices: Banking Regulatory
The European Passport Rights for Financial Institutions Regulations, 2020 (the “Regulations”) entered into force on 30 April 2020 by means of Legal Notice 165 of 2020. The new set of Regulations issued under the Financial Institutions Act, Cap. 376 of the Laws of Malta (the “Act”) revoke the European Passport Rights for Financial Institutions Regulations, 2011.