With elections in three major European countries, 2017 promises to be a year of even greater political awareness, and potentially upheaval. Alongside these dates, we set out below the timetable and key dates around the announcement or implementation of new rules in the English legal world which will be of most interest to banks and other financial institutions.
January 2017. New laws to deter multinationals from avoiding tax through cross-border tax arbitrage involving hybrids.
Early 2017. FCA expected to publish a policy statement to CP16/31 on the prohibition of restrictive contractual clauses in investment and corporate banking. The EC is also expected to propose uniform rules in 2017 to determine which national law applies to the effect on third parties of the assignment of debt claims.
February 2017. Statutory deadline for implementing remedial action following CMA retail banking investigation.
1 March 2017. Financial institutions will be required to exchange variation margin to protect against counterparty default under derivatives contracts. EU financial counterparties and their non-EU equivalents may need to amend their collateral documentation by 1 March or they will cease to be able to trade.
15 March 2017: Dutch General Election
March 2017 Brexit. Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union expected to be triggered by the UK before the end of this month. The Queen's Speech is to include a Great Repeal Bill to repeal the European Communities Act 1972.
April 2017. The UK Government intends to implement the proposals outlined in the Summer Budget on 8 July 2015 on new inheritance tax rules on residential property in the United Kingdom held indirectly by non-domiciled individuals or excluded property trusts.
April 2017. The Finance Bill will introduce rules limiting interest deductibility for tax purposes for large groups. This will affect a range of lending and debt capital markets transactions. Broadly, these rules, which derive from the OECD's Base Erosion Profit Shifting (BEPS) project, will limit deductions where a group has net interest expenses of more than £2 million, net interest expenses exceed 30% of UK taxable earnings and the group’s net interest to earnings ratio in the UK exceeds that of the worldwide group. The new rules will lead to a reduction in the tax relief given for interest expense (and so increase the effective tax rate) in some UK companies, for example where a group has net external finance expense at a UK head office level, but is unable to reallocate the debt to its overseas operating subsidiaries.
6 April 2017. The Insolvency (England and Wales) Rules 2016 (SI 2016/1024) replace the Insolvency Rules 1986 (as amended), to outline the procedural framework for the Insolvency Act 1986 and set out the rules to be followed in the conduct of insolvency.
23 April 2017: French Election, First Round
7 May 2017: French Election, Second Round
17 June 2017. Statutory audit: Date of implementation of the prohibition of "Big Four" clauses under Article 16(6) of the Regulation (EU) No 537/2014 on statutory audit of public-interest entities.
26 June 2017. Anti-money laundering: EU member states (including the UK) must implement the Fourth Money Laundering directive by this date. This will, among other things, require the government to implement changes to the PSC regime.
26 June 2017. Cross-border insolvency proceedings. The majority of the provisions of Regulation (EU) 2015/848 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 May 2015 on insolvency proceedings (recast) will apply from this date. The Regulation aims to make cross-border insolvency proceedings more efficient and effective.
17 / 24 September 2017: German Election
2017. Further developments on the law relating to the security bills of sale are anticipated. Following the Law Commission Report which was published in September 2016, there is hope that the government may proceed to follow the report's recommendations and replace the Bills of Sale Acts with new legislation that imposes fewer burdens on lenders and more protection for borrowers. This should be of particular relevance for those financiers which lend against artworks.
Sign up to our email digest