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2017-04-doc1 EU Banking and Insurance Insolvency, 2nd. ed, 2017

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Professor Matthias Haentjens (University of Leiden) writes the following re the book ‘EU Banking and Insurance Insolvency‘, Oxford University Press, 2nd ed., 2017, authored and edited by Gabriel Moss QC, Bob Wessels and Matthias Haentjens:

‘With only little exaggeration, it might be contended that there has been no other area of law in which the developments over the last five years have been so numerous and so fundamental as in European banking and insurance insolvency law. This new edition of EU Banking and Insurance Insolvency critically analyses those developments, and aims to provide expert insight into the most important aspects of modern European banking and insurance insolvency law.

The previous edition of this book was published in 2006 and the previous preface written in 2005. That preface started with the remark that European insolvency law had seen ‘a very busy five years’ since the beginning of the twenty-first century. Reference was made to the enactment of the Insolvency Regulation 1346/2000, the 2001/24 Credit Institutions Winding-up Directive (CIWUD), and the 2001/17 Insurance Companies Winding-up Directive (IWUD). Little could the authors know that only a couple of years after that book was first published, the financial world would be shaken to the core and the EU would be severely shocked by consecutive financial, banking and economic crises. These crises led the European legislature to the conviction that the then existing legislative framework was inadequate to deal with the insolvencies of, specifically, credit institutions. A fundamental overhaul of the legislative framework was the result.

Since the crisis of 2008, the EU has witnessed a dramatic integration in banking law, as illustrated by the introduction of the Banking Union. A common European deposit guarantee scheme, which initially was part of the Banking Union set-up, might still be a bridge too far for political reasons, although a recent initiative is aimed at the introduction of a ‘European Deposit Insurance Scheme’. However, this Banking Union has introduced harmonized bank insolvency rules for the entire EU and a unified application of those rules for the Eurozone.

In addition to the CIWUD and IWUD, the two EU statutory instruments that had been the subjects of the previous edition of this book, the EU legislature has enacted the 2014/59 Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD) for all EU Member States and the 806/2014 Single Resolution Mechanism Regulation (SRMR) for the Eurozone. As a consequence, the book EU Banking and Insurance Insolvency needed a fundamental revision, too. Hence, the book is now structured in Parts. In the first Part, two introductory chapters have been significantly extended and now include an introduction to the Banking Union, as well as to substantive, European bank insolvency law.

The second Part contains an updated commentary on the CIWUD, while Part III comments on the IWUD, which now forms part of the Solvency II Directive (2009/138/EC). The commentary of the CIWUD and the IWUD have been amended so as to take into account the significant changes that have been made to these instruments as a consequence of the adoption of the BRRD and the SRMR. In addition, several high-profile court cases have been decided in the meantime, which have also been included in the present edition.

A new Part IV consists of an extensive commentary on pertinent parts of the BRRD, with references to the SRMR where relevant. The text of the statute has been reproduced and commented upon elaborately only where that was deemed really helpful. For the selection, the guiding principle has been what was the focus point also of the previous edition: cross-border issues of bank and insurance insolvencies.

In Part V, eminent reporters discuss the concrete provisions as implemented in key jurisdictions: Ian Fletcher, Hannah Tornley and Robert Amey for the UK; Blanaid Clarke for Ireland; Hubert de Vauplane and Gilles Kolifrath for France; Jens-Hinrich Binder for Germany; Eyvindur G Gunnarsson for Iceland; and Ignacio Tirado for Spain. The book concludes with the full text of the Winding-Up Directive, Title IV of Solvency II, BRRD and SRMR.

The book states the law as it was on 1 august 2016. However, this is such a fast-moving area of law that after that date important developments have already occurred. These developments could only be included in a “stop-press notice”, which discusses the Novo Banco case on appeal, and the EU Commission’s Reform Package as published on 23 November 2016. While it now has become clear that the UK will withdraw from the EU, the EU Directives discussed in this book will remain applicable in the UK at least until the EU membership has formally ended, which will probably take between two to ten years. The domestic legislation implementing the same instruments will probably remain in force even longer.

The book may thus be interesting for anyone dealing with insurance and bank insolvency or potential insurance and bank insolvency. For solicitors and advocates within the EU advising on the situation, for academics, students, and for in-house lawyers of banks and reinsurance companies.

For a detailed table of contents, as well as author information and purchase options: global.oup.com/academic/product/eu-banking-and-insurance-insolvency.’

Professor Matthias Haentjens