The Council of the European Union will aim at establishing a general approach on the regulation on assignments of claims on 7 June 2021 in Luxembourg.
The text which should be adopted is an amended version of the 2018 proposal of the European Commission for a Regulation on the law applicable to the third-party effects of assignments of claims, which was adopted by the European Parliament in 2019 with 24 amendments.
The main features of the new text are as follows.
Law of the Habitual Residence of the Assignor
One of the most debated issues was whether the principle should be that third party effects of assignment of claims should be governed by the law of the habitual residence of the assignor or the law of the assigned claim. The Commission had proposed to retain the former, with certain exceptions.
In line with the Commission proposal, the law of the assignor’s habitual residence received more support than the assigned-claim law as it would lead to more predictability for third parties. The law of the assignor’s habitual residence was deemed suitable for bulk assignments subject to different laws and future claims and consistent with Regulation (EU) 2015/848 (Insolvency Regulation).
Law of the Assigned Claim
The list of exceptions, however, has slightly increased. The law of the assigned claim would apply to a longer list of claims in financial markets, but also to credit claims. This last exception will not doubt be criticised. Recital 27(b) clarifies its scope, which seems extensive:
The third-party effects of assignments of claims arising out of agreements whereby credit is granted in the form of a loan should be governed by the law of the assigned claim. This should include credit claims as defined in point (o) of Article 2(1) of Directive 2002/47, often used as financial collateral within the Eurosystem. In order to facilitate the cross-border assignment of claims arising out of syndicated loans and lending-based crowdfunding on secondary financial markets, the third-party effects of the assignment of claims arising out of syndicated loans and lending-based crowdfunding should also be subject to the law of the assigned claim.
It was also thought that the scope of the instrument should be further clarified and restricted. In particular, three matters are excluded from the scope of the future regulation:
– the transfer of financial instruments, including securities and derivatives;
– the transfer of crypto-assets; and
– the assignment of claims where the claims are not in intangible form but incorporated in a certificate or represented by a book entry.