financial contracts

The OCC Proposes Rule to Address Concerns Relating to Exercise of Default Rights Under Qualified Financial Contracts


On October 3, 2016, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency proposed a rule to enhance the resilience of federally chartered and licensed financial institutions. The proposed rule addresses concerns relating to the exercise of default rights under certain financial contracts that could interfere with the orderly resolution of systemically important financial firms. The rule requires, among other things, covered banks to ensure that covered qualified financial contracts (i) limit the exercise of default rights based on the insolvency of an affiliate of a covered bank and (ii) contain contractual stay-and-transfer provisions analogous to the statutory stay-and-transfer provision set forth under title II of the Dodd-Frank Act and the Federal Deposit Insurance Act. Comments on the proposed rule are due on October 18, 2016. Press Release.

European Commission Implementing Regulation Establishing a List of Critical Benchmarks Used in Financial Markets under Benchmarks Regulation in OJ


On August 12, 2016, the European Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/1368 establishing a list of critical benchmarks used in financial markets pursuant to the Regulation on indices used as benchmarks in financial instruments and financial contracts or to measure the performance of investment funds (2016/1011/EU) (Benchmarks Regulation), was published in the Official Journal of the EU (OJ).

The Regulation highlights that benchmarks play an important role in the determination of the price of many financial instruments and financial contracts and of the measurement of performance for many investment funds. In order to fulfill their economic role, benchmarks need to be representative of the underlying market or economic reality they reflect. Should a benchmark no longer be representative of an underlying market, such as interbank offered rates, there is a risk of negative effects on, inter alia, market integrity, the financing of households (loans and mortgages) and businesses in the Union.

The Implementing Regulation, which specifies the Euro Interbank Offered Rate (EURIBOR) as a critical benchmark, enters into force on the day following its publication in the OJ (that is, August 13, 2016). It will apply from January 1, 2018.

European Commission Adopts Delegated Regulation on RTS on Detailed Records of Financial Contracts under BRRD

On June 7, 2016, the European Commission adopted a Delegated Regulation supplementing the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (2014/59/EU) (BRRD). The Delegated Regulation deals with the regulatory technical standards (RTS) on a minimum set of the information on financial contracts that should be contained in the detailed records, together with the circumstances in which the requirement should be imposed (C(2016) 3356 final).

Following submission of draft RTS by the EBA in December 2015, the Commission is entitled, under Article 71 of the BRRD, to adopt delegated regulations which highlight the methodology for assessing the value of assets and liabilities of institutions or entities. The draft RTS state that, should the relevant conditions for resolution be satisfied, an institution must maintain detailed records of financial contracts where it is foreseen that resolution actions would be applied to the institution concerned. The Annex accompanying the Delegated Regulation highlights the minimum list of information on financial contracts.

It is now for the Council of the EU and the European Parliament to consider the Delegated Regulation. Subject to any objection, it will enter into force 20 days after its publication in the Official Journal of the EU (OJ).

European Parliament Adopts Final Text of Benchmark Regulation

On May 3, 2016, the Council of the EU published the text of the proposed Regulation on indices used as benchmarks in financial instruments and financial contracts or to measure the performance of investment funds (Benchmark Regulation).  This follows adoption of the Benchmark Regulation by the European Parliament on April 28, 2016.

Next, the Benchmark Regulation must be formally adopted by the Council, after which it will be published in the Official Journal of the EU. It will then enter into force on the day after its publication.