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GlobalMap Oct2018
Promotions 2018

Walkers' Promotions Highlight Growth of Global Firm

We are pleased to announce that 8 attorneys across our 10 global offices have been invited to join the partnership. In addition, 18 associates have been promoted to senior counsel, or local equivalent.

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Ireland Update – Amended Credit Servicing Regulatory Regime Now in Force

Following the issuance by the Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe, of a commencement order, the Consumer Protection (Regulation of Credit Servicing Firms) Act 2018 (the “Act”) has entered into force from 21 January 2019.

Overview - New Regime now in Force
The introduction of the Act means that a number of previously unregulated entities (e.g. SPVs) that:

a. hold legal title to relevant portfolios of Irish loans (“Relevant Portfolios”); and / or
b. control the overall strategy or key decisions relating to credit,

are now subject to regulation and a requirement to apply to the Central Bank of Ireland (the “Central Bank”) for authorisation to carry on the business of a credit servicing firm (in the absence of any acceptable restructuring solution). Due to the broad potential scope of the Act, participation in certain types of syndicated loans by unregulated lenders may also come within scope.

The Act represents a major expansion of the scope of the previous credit servicing regime and means that both current owners and prospective future purchasers of Relevant Portfolios should carefully review their structures in order to ensure compliance.

Please see our previous client briefing (available here) for a detailed analysis of the amendments to the existing credit servicing regime that have been introduced by the Act and the resulting consequences.

 

Click to view advisory

Corporate Enforcement in Ireland - ODCE to be Established as Stand Alone Agency

In December 2018 Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphries T.D. announced that the Cabinet had approved for publication the General Scheme of the Companies (Corporate Enforcement Authority) Bill 2018 (the “Scheme”).

The proposed new legislation is designed to strengthen Ireland’s regulatory framework for the conduct of business and is a key action in the Government’s package of measures to tackle white collar crime.

As the Scheme will have to progress through the usual legislative process, certain of the proposals set out therein may be amended and / or removed if / when the legislation is ultimately passed. Nonetheless, the Scheme contains some noteworthy proposals which we consider below.

Executive Summary
The purpose of the Scheme is to establish the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (“ODCE”) as an agency, rather than its current form of an office within the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation. The new agency will take the form of a commission structure and will be named the Corporate Enforcement Authority (the “Authority”).

In addition to establishing the Authority, the Scheme seeks to introduce a number of noteworthy amendments to the Companies Act 2014 (the “Act”).

 

Click to view advisory

Ireland | New Anti-Money Laundering Laws Now in Effect

Ireland's anti-money laundering ("AML") laws have been significantly altered and expanded with the transposition of the Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive.  Certain “unregulated” financial institutions (including SPVs) will be required to register with the Central Bank of Ireland, there is an increased focus on risk assessment and providers of gambling services will be within scope of AML requirements for the first time. This briefing explains the recent changes and explains how Walkers may be of assistance to impacted companies.

 

Click to view advisory

 

Regulating Loan Owners: Proposed Amendments to the Credit Servicing Regulatory Regime

Following further debate in the Seanad (the upper house of the Irish parliament) on 18 December 2018, the Consumer Protection (Regulation of Credit Servicing Firms) Amendment Bill 2018 (the “Bill”) was passed, without further amendment. The Bill will now be sent to the President to sign into law.

Once the Bill is signed into law by the President, the Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe, will issue a commencement order. We understand that the Bill will have a commencement date of 21 January 2019.

Please see our previous client briefing (available here) for a detailed analysis of the amendments to the existing credit servicing regime that will be introduced by the Bill and the resulting consequences and next steps for existing owners of in-scope Irish loans with regard to obtaining an authorisation under the new credit servicing regime. Future purchasers of in-scope loan books should also be mindful of their obligations under the new regime.

 

Click to download advisory

Regulating Loan Owners: Proposed Amendments to the Credit Servicing Regulatory Regime

The sale of non-performing loan (“NPL”) books by Irish banks has been the subject of intense political and media scrutiny for a number of years due to the perceived impact of the sales of such loan books on underlying borrowers, particularly consumer and small and medium enterprise (“SME”) borrowers.

Recent political debate and discussion on the topic has resulted in the proposal of an amendment to the “credit servicing” regime introduced in 2015 pursuant to the Consumer Protection (Regulation of Credit Servicing Firms) Act 2015 (the “2015 Act”) to expand the scope of the “credit servicing” regime to also include, amongst other things, the legal holder of title to loans.

During a recent Dáil debate on the relevant amending legislation, the Consumer Protection (Regulation of Credit Servicing Firms) Amendment Bill 2018 (the “Bill”), it was stated by the Minister of Finance that the Government now intends to pass the Bill into law before Christmas/year end. Although the Bill has yet to go to the Seanad the upper house of the Irish parliament) it now seems unlikely that the content of the Bill will change materially prior to enactment.

 

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