Lehman Estate Settles Claims By RMBS Insurer and Trustee

 

On September 20, 2016, Judge Shelley Chapman of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York approved the $37 million settlement of $1.3 billion in claims asserted against the estates of two defunct Lehman Brothers’ entities by Syncora Guarantee Inc. in its capacity as the insurer for certain certificates issued from the GMFT 2006-1 RMBS trust. After being sued by the GMFT 2006-1 Trustee for payment under the insurance policy, Syncora filed its own claim for indemnification against Lehman as sponsor of the securitization. In addition to settling Syncora’s claim, the agreement also releases Lehman from all potential claims brought by the GMFT 2006-1 Trustee, U.S. Bank NA, in exchange for Lehman’s cooperation in a separate lawsuit arising from GreenPoint Mortgage Funding Inc.’s alleged failure to repurchase defective loans. Settlement Order. Settlement Agreement Submitted For Approval.

EBA Consults on Guidelines on Minimum Professional Indemnity Insurance under PSD2

 

On September 22, 2016, the European Banking Authority (EBA) published a consultation paper (EBA/CP/2016/12) on draft guidelines in relation to professional indemnity insurance (PII) and the criteria competent authorities should follow when stipulating the minimum monetary amount of the PII or comparable guarantees for undertakings that apply to provide payment initiation services or account information services under PSD2 (the Directive on payment services in the internal market ((EU) 2015/2366)). The EBA was mandated to produce the guidelines under Article 5(4) of PSD2. The consultation on the draft guidelines closes on November 30, 2016.

As well as setting out the proposed criteria, the EBA also:

  • Sets out with explanations its proposal to use a formula for the calculation of the minimum monetary amounts.
  • Provides details on indicators for the criteria set out in PSD2 along with the calculation method proposed for some of those indicators.
  • Provides circumstances in which the lowest tier, or default value, should be used.

The EBA also provided practical examples to assist in the calculation of the minimum amount of PII or comparable guarantee.

EBA Consults on Fee Terminology and Disclosure Documents under Payment Accounts Directive

 

Pursuant to the Payment Accounts Directive (2014/92/EU) (PAD), on September 22, 2016, the European Banking Authority (EBA) published a consultation paper on draft technical standards on fee terminology and disclosure documents under the directive.

The EBA will be holding a public hearing at its premises on 21 November 2016 and the consultation process closes on December 22, 2016.

Following the consultation the EBA set out the following three draft technical standards:

  • Draft regulatory technical standards (RTS) setting out the standardized terminology for services that are common to at least a majority of member states (required under Article 3(4) of the PAD).
  • Draft implementing technical standards (ITS) relating to the standardization of presentation format on the fee information document (FID) and its common symbol (required under Article 4(6) of the PAD).
  • Draft ITS relating to a standardized presentation format of the statement of fees (SoF) and its common symbol (required under Article 5(4) of the PAD).

The draft technical standards aim to standardize eight terms for services that are to be used by payment service providers (PSPs), as well as providing consumer-friendly definitions of these terms in all EU official languages. The EBA identified the terminology based on the national provisional lists that member states have developed in line with the EBA’s March 2015 guidelines on standardized fee terminology (see Legal update, EBA final report and guidelines on national provisional lists of the most representative services linked to a payment account and subject to a fee).

PSPs will have to use the proposed standardized terminology in the pre-contractual FID and the post-contractual SoF disclosure documents.

European Commission Adopts Implementing Regulation on ITS for Reporting Results of Internal Approach Calculations under Article 78(2) CRD IV Directive

 

On September 19, 2016, the European Commission adopted an Implementing Regulation implementing technical standards (ITS) for templates, definitions and IT solutions to be used by institutions when reporting the results of their internal approach calculations to the European Banking Authority (EBA) and to competent authorities under the CRD IV Directive (2013/36/EU).

The Implementing Regulation is based on the draft ITS submitted by the EBA to the Commission in March 2015 to which the EBA published an opinion agreeing to the Commission’s amendments to the ITS in May 2016. Once the Implementing Regulation has been published in the Official Journal of the EU (OJ) it will enter into force on the 20th day following its publication.

California Enacts Legislation Requiring Public Investment Funds to Make Disclosures Concerning Fees and Expenses Paid to Private Fund Managers

 

On September 14, 2016, Governor Jerry Brown approved an amendment to the California Government Code, effective January 1, 2017, that requires a “public investment fund,” defined to mean “any fund of any public pension or retirement system, including that of the University of California,” to make certain disclosures at least annually concerning investments in each “alternative investment” vehicle in which it invests.  An “alternative investment vehicle” is defined to mean “the limited partnership, limited liability company, or similar legal structure through which a public investment fund invests in an alternative investment.”  An “alternative investment,” in turn, means an investment in a private equity fund, venture fund, hedge fund, or absolute return fund.”

Such disclosures include: (i) the fees and expenses that the public investment fund pays directly to the alternative investment vehicle, the fund manager or related parties; (ii) the public investment fund’s pro rata share of fees and expenses not included in (i) that are paid by the alternative investment vehicle; (iii) the public investment fund’s pro rata share of carried interest distributed to the fund manager or related parties; and (iv) the public investment fund’s pro rata share of aggregate fees and expenses paid by all of the portfolio companies held within the alternative investment vehicle to the fund manager or related parties.

These disclosure requirements are in alignment with: (i) enforcement actions brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission over the past several years against private fund managers for failure to adequately disclose conflicts of interest and the fees and expenses borne by investors in their funds; (ii) similar legislative initiatives in other states; and (iii) the publication by the Institutional Limited Partners Association of a proposed reporting template that captures greater detail on fees, expenses and carried interest paid to private fund managers and their affiliates.

Deposit Guarantee Scheme Co-Operation Agreement Published by EFDI

On September 15, 2016, the European Forum of Deposit Insurers (EFDI) published its model deposit guarantee scheme co-operation agreement and supporting rulebook.

The recast Deposit Guarantee Scheme Directive (2014/49/EU) requires EU deposit guarantee schemes (DGS) to repay depositors in a cross-border branch through the DGS in the home state country.

The EFDI model co-option agreement covers the cross-border payment framework, mutual lending and the transfer of contributions between DGS. It also contains methodology implementing technical and functional co-operation for cross-border payments together with IT data requirements, funding and crisis communications.

European Parliament Announces Decision to Reject Delegated Resolution of RTS on Key Information Documents for PRIIPs

On September 14, 2016, the European Parliament announced its decision to reject the European Commission’s proposed Delegated Regulation supplementing the Regulation on key information documents (KIDs) for packaged retail and insurance based products (PRIIPs) (Regulation 1286/2014) (PRIIPs KID Regulation). The text of the legislative resolution rejecting the proposed Delegated Regulation sets out a number of reasons why the Parliament decided to reject the Delegated Regulation, including:

  • The need for detailed guidance on the “comprehension alert” without which there is a risk of inconsistent implementation of this component in the KIDs within the single market;
  • The need for clarification surrounding the treatment of multi-option products; and
  • The risk that the rules within the Delegated Regulation are contrary to the purpose of the legislation which is to provide retail investors clear, comparable, non-misleading and understandable information on PRIIPs.

As well as calling on the Commission to submit a new delegated regulation, the European Parliament also calls on the Commission to postpone the application date of the PRIIPs KID Regulation, to ensure that the requirements in the Regulation and Delegated Regulation are implemented smoothly and avoid the application of level 1 without RTS being in force.

European Commission Calls to Accelerate the Capital Markets Union Reforms

On September 14, 2016, the European Commission published a communication calling for an acceleration of the capital markets union (CMU) reforms (COM(2016) 601 final) in light of the current political and economic context.

Elements of particular interest to financial services practitioners include:

  • The Commission will support the co-legislators in reaching an agreement by the end of 2016 on the modernization of the prospectus rules;
  • The Commission calls on both the European Parliament and the European Council to finalize the Regulation amending the European Social Entrepreneurship Funds Regulation (Regulation 346/2013) (EuSEF Regulation) and the European Venture Capital Funds Regulation (Regulation 345/2013) (EuVECA Regulation) also by the end of 2016;
  • The prospect of a legislative proposal being tabled in 2017 relating to a simple, efficient and competitive EU personal pension product;
  • To reduce capital charges attaching to investments by insurers in infrastructure corporates, the Commission will adopt an amendment to the Solvency II Delegated Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2015/35);
  • In the hope of strengthening retail investor participation in capital markets and opening up the EU market for retail financial services, the Commission will present an action plan on retail financial services.

The Annex to the communication also provides an update on the CMU action plan initiatives.

Implementation Regulation Specifying Main Indices and Recognized Exchanges under CRR Published in OJ

On September 14, 2016, Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/1646 laying down implementing technical standards with regard to main indices and recognized exchanges in accordance with the Capital Requirements Regulation (Regulation 575/2013), was published in the Official Journal of the EU (OJ). The Implementing Regulation will enter into force on October 4, 2016.