GAIM Ops Cayman 2019

Walkers will once again be a headline sponsor of the 2019 GAIM Ops Cayman conference.

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Walkers Launches Compliance Services Offering

Walkers Compliance complements Walkers' legal, corporate and fiduciary services to deliver a one-stop-shop for clients looking to use the Cayman Islands jurisdiction for their business needs.

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Brexit

Following the result in the United Kingdom's EU referendum, Walkers has created a Brexit page dedicated to providing our clients relevant information about the jurisdictions in which we practise.

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Walkers is a leading international law firm. We advise on the laws of Bermuda*, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Guernsey, Ireland and Jersey.
GlobalMap Oct2018
Admissions April2019

Walkers Announces Admissions of 50th and 51st Caymanian Attorneys-at-Law

We are pleased to announce that Articled Clerks Gemma Cowan and Sophie Dibb have completed their legal training, both being called to the Cayman Islands Bar. 

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Bermuda Offers Solution For Banking Services To Bermuda Licensed FinTech Companies

The Bermuda Government has announced that, as a result of confidence in Bermuda’s high regulatory standards, Bermuda can now offer an option for US banking services to be made available to Bermuda licensed FinTech companies.

According to a press release issued from the Bermuda Government, Signature Bank, a New York-based full-service commercial bank, has agreed to provide a full range of banking services to companies that meet Bermuda and Signature Bank standards. The press release states that Signature Bank is a dynamic financial institution that was an early entrant into digital asset space and was the first bank to launch a New York regulatorapproved blockchain-based platform for managing money transfers between clients.

Premier, the Hon. David Burt, JP, MP, stated: “The Government has been working diligently to promote Bermuda as the destination of choice for FinTech companies looking for a place to domicile. We produced progressive legislation in 2018 and have established Bermuda as a leader in the FinTech industry. Bermuda is respected as a well-regulated and legislated jurisdiction in the FinTech space and companies know that this is a safe place to live and work.

Banking for the FinTech sector has been a considerable challenge around the globe. Banks have been reluctant to take on the risks of dealing with digital assets for fear that they may fall foul of global compliance regulations. Signature Bank’s willingness to consider Bermuda licensed businesses for banking services is a significant vote of confidence in and endorsement of Bermuda’s efforts to create a leading high standard regulatory regime for FinTech business.”

We understand that Signature Bank has advised that it is willing to accept banking applications from Bermuda-licensed companies with effect from 1 March 2019. Please feel free to contact any one of our FinTech team to find out more information.

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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

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

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”).

 

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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

 

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