Sunday, August 8, 2021

Germany Throws the Book at Tax Criminals

Cross-border Securities Loans Targeted by EU Tax Auditors

Author: David Schwartz

German courts and regulators have put securities lenders on notice that cross-border withholding tax (WHT) reclaim "schemes" are now "crimes." Recent developments in Germany have cleared the way for sweeping tax audits and potential criminal prosecutions of borrowers and lenders reaching back 25 years. The so-called "cum-ex" trades have been a focus of European regulators, particularly in Germany and Denmark, whose treasuries have been hit hardest by these trades. Lenders are being advised that there is new potential for legal and criminal jeopardy attached to cum-ex securities lending transactions and that principals and their service providers should be ready for heightened scrutiny.

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Saturday, May 22, 2021

Get Your ESG House in Order

Here Come the Regulators.

Author: David Schwartz

Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing has taken global financial markets by storm over the last few years. Post-pandemic, the demand for ESG investments has only intensified and has proven to be much more durable than a fad. However, lack of consistency and transparency threatens the trustworthiness of ESG as a category, and has led to accusations of 'greenwashing.'  As a result, US regulators and their counterparts in the EU and UK have begun building regulatory and enforcement momentum, focusing on the quality and accuracy of ESG disclosures by asset managers and investment funds. Accounting and other standard setters have joined their regulatory brethren in calling for consistency in financial and non-financial ESG reporting.

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Sunday, July 17, 2016

EU Urges a New Look at Basel Reforms

Have we traded growth for stability?

Author: David Schwartz

In his final address on July 12, 2016 as the EU’s Commissioner for Financial Stability, Jonathan Hill announced that the European Commission would push the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) to rethink some of its Basel III reforms in light of their affects on capital, trade finance, market liquidity, and access to clearing.  While applauding the regulatory work done to ensure financial stability, Hill worries that global regulators have become too risk averse, missing the big picture and trading growth for stabil

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Monday, March 14, 2016

Despite Delay, MiFID II Remains a Priority

Author: David Schwartz

Among the priorities in the European Commission’s (EC) list of its planned initiatives for 2016 is a new push to refine a package of reforms under its Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II). After announcing just last month that MiFID II implementation would be delayed by year to January 3, 2018 due to the overwhelming complexities involved, the EC indicated that it would focus on a number of technical points in MiFID II that need to be specified further.

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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

US and EC Agree on a Common Approach to Trans-Atlantic CCPs

Author: David Schwartz

In a joint statement issued on February 10, the European Commission (EC) and the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced agreement on a common approach regarding requirements for central clearing counterparties (CCPs).  The agreement is the result of a multi-year analysis of differences between the CFTC and EU regulatory requirements. The accord commits the EC and CFTC to base regulations on international rather than parochial principles, and for both the CFTC and the European Commission Services to work together, along with counterparts across the global regulatory community, to develop further these principles and further harmonize the standards to which internationally active CCPs are held.

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