Friday, September 3, 2021

Central Clearing for Securities Lending

DTCC Gambles that If They Build it, they Will Come.

Author: David Schwartz

DTCC has applied to the US Securities and Exchange Commission for permission to launch a securities finance clearing service. DTCC's fixed income arm, the National Securities Clearing Corporation (NSCC), spearheads the central clearing initiative, touting the numerous efficiency benefits to clearing customers, including increased capital efficiency for both borrowers and agent lenders and a reduction in counterparty risk by novating to NSCC the completion of settlement obligations.

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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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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Squaring ESG with Securities Lending

Compliance without Knowing the Borrower's Purpose - Is it Possible?

Author: David Schwartz

Sustainable investing is becoming more important to investors when creating portfolios. As a result, institutions often follow policies with formal environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors to guide their investments. They commit substantial resources to ESG research and produce comprehensive reports about their compliance.[1] But then the same institutions give away their proxy votes when they lend securities for fees to cover their bank charges. And the loans of those securities – and their proxies – go to borrowers with unknown intentions, and often with unknown identities.

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Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Alarm Raised on Stock Loans for "Withholding Tax Schemes”

Findings Point to a New Role for Emerging Fintech

Author: David Schwartz

European commissioners are reviewing a study from their securities and market authority (ESMA) that includes a recommendation for new laws to combat unfair trading practices and an extended remit for National Competent Authorities (NCAs) to conduct snap audits of securities loans and transactors. Loans deemed to be suspicious would prompt an inquiry to determine penalties for unfair strategies and inappropriate beneficiaries. However, useful audit results may be doubtful based on our preliminary review that uncovered shortcomings in the proposed SFTR surveillance datasets, as well as possible flaws in the study’s basic methodology. 

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Wednesday, July 3, 2019

ESMA Takes a Look at Tax Withholding Schemes

Proposes Some Best Practices and Promises a Follow-up Study

Author: David Schwartz

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published the findings of its preliminary study of multiple withholding tax (WHT) reclaim schemes. ESMA conducted this preliminary study at the request European Parliament (EP) and has launched a formal inquiry to gather further evidence from national competent authorities (NCAs) on the supervisory practices and experience regarding those schemes.

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