A Q&A guide to structured finance and securitisation law in France.
This Q&A provides an overview of, among others, the markets and legal regimes, issues relating to the SPV and the securities issued, transferring the receivables, dealing with security and risk, cash flow, ratings, tax issues, variations to the securitisation structure and reform proposals.
To compare answers across multiple jurisdictions, visit the Structured lending and securitisation Country Q&A tool.
This Q&A is part of the PLC multi-jurisdictional guide to structured finance and securitisation. For a full list of contents visit www.practicallaw.com/securitisationhand-mjg.
How active and/or developed is the market and what notable transactions and new structures have taken place recently?
To what extent have central bank liquidity schemes assisted the securitisation market in your jurisdiction? Were retained securitisations common in the last 12 months?
Is securitisation particularly concentrated in certain industry sectors?
Due to the subprime crisis, mortgage-related products decreased in value and investor appetite deteriorated. This led to broad-based distress in securitisation markets since the summer of 2007 and activity halted across most sections of the market. Although there is some securitisation of commercial receivables, issuance volumes collapsed in 2008.
However, securitisation is still recognised as a useful tool to the finance economy and there has been much consideration in relation to reforming the securitisation process (see Question 29). In fact, the market has been maintained by transactions used directly for bank refinancing with central banks or refinancing institutions. They represent a vast majority of securitisation transactions.
What are the main laws governing securitisations?
Is there a regulatory authority?
French securitisation is regulated by a legal regime providing clear and protective rules under the supervision of a regulator. This regime allows the parties to both:
Organise their contractual relations.
Implement many of the measures proposed by the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) (see Question 29).
Securitisation became part of the French legal system 20 years ago with Law No. 88-1201 dated 23 December 1988 (Securitisation Law) and is codified in Articles L214-5 and L214-43 to L214-49 of the Monetary and Financial Code (Code monétaire et financier). The Securitisation Law created a specific form of securitisation vehicle called a Fonds Commun de Créances (FCC), which is a collective debt investment fund or common pool of debts.
Since 1988, the Securitisation Law has been improved several times, including by:
Authorising FCCs to issue various types of debt securities.
Authorising FCCs to enter into credit derivatives arrangements.
Creating protected receivables collection accounts.
The Securitisation Law has recently been streamlined and modernised by a:
Governmental Ordinance of 13 June 2008 (2008 Ordinance).
Governmental Decree dated 17 July 2008 (2008 Decree).
The 2008 Ordinance allows the creation of securitisation corporations (Société de Titrisation) (SDTs), and regulates the securitisation of insurance risks.
FCCs are now called Fonds Commun de Titrisation (FCTs).
The Financial Markets Authority (Autorité des Marchés Financiers) (AMF) is the main regulatory authority in relation to securitisation.
Accounting practices in your jurisdiction, such as application of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)?
National or supra-national rules concerning capital adequacy (such as the Basel International Convergence of Capital Measurement and Capital Standards: a Revised Framework (Basel II Accord) or the Capital Requirements Directive)? What authority in your jurisdiction regulates capital adequacy requirements?
Cheaper borrowing. Cheaper borrowing is the biggest incentive to securitise in France. This is particularity true for real estate financing and leveraged buyout (LBO) financing, where investors seek yield levels which are lower than those of banks.
Accounting practices and capital adequacy. Securitisation techniques are useful to banks in relation to balance sheet management, provided the securitisation transactions achieve a true sale of the receivables without commitment by the originator to repurchase the securitised assets.
The Cooke ratio, contained in Directive 89/647/EEC on solvency ratio for credit institutions (Solvency Ratio Directive), was transposed into French law by the Banking and Financial Regulatory Committee (Comité de la Réglementation Bancaire et Financière) (CRBF) Regulation No. 91-05 of 15 February 1991. The CRBF is the body responsible for passing regulations governing credit institutions in France.
The McDonough Ratio, contained in the Directive 2006/48/EC relating to the taking up and pursuit of the business of credit institutions and Directive 2006/49/EC on the capital adequacy of investment firms and credit institutions (together, the Capital Requirements Directive (CRD)) (see Model Guide, Capital Adequacy), was transposed by an Ordinance of 19 April 2007 and a Decree of 20 February 2007.
Securitisation also allows banks to manage their rate risks.
Initially developed for credit institutions, securitisation has extended to the financing of debts held by commercial companies (which allows them to reduce their debt portfolio and shift the customer default risk to the securitisation vehicle). Securitisation allows an improvement of both the:
Balance sheet main equilibriums.
Management of the key ratios of the assigning company.
What form does the SPV usually take and how is it set up?
What is the legal status of the SPV?
How is the SPV usually owned?
Are there any particular regulatory requirements that apply to the SPVs?
Since the 2008 Ordinance, two types of securitisation vehicles (Securitisation Entities) are available:
The FCT is the main vehicle used for implementing securitisation transactions under French law. Largely derived from the former receivable securitisation fund or FCC, the FCT has a much broader scope of activities ranging from the securitisation of any receivables to the securitisation of insurance risks.
The SDT (Société de Titrisation) is a new form of securitisation entity which is a specific form of share company. The use of this legal form may bring significant advantages in transactions where the benefit of international tax treaties is important.
An FCT is a co-ownership (co-propriété) without legal personality. It is a collective debt investment fund organised, like most French funds, with a fund manager (société de gestion) and fund custodian (dépositaire). FCTs have no share capital, no shareholders, no board of directors and no employees.
An SDT is a corporation and can issue bonds. It is regulated by its constituting documents (that is, regulations or articles of association) and is subject to regulatory requirements.
Securitisation Entities are not supervised by a regulatory body. However, the AMF approves and supervises the FCT's management company, which must follow certain rules of conduct set out in the AMF Regulations.
When an FCT's management strategy includes active asset management or the sale of protection through credit derivatives transactions, the management company must comply with certain additional specific requirements, including to (Article R214-92 et seq., Monetary and Financial Code):
Obtain a specific licence from the AMF authorising it to carry out such activities.
Put in place appropriate management and organisational procedures under the AMF Regulation 94-01 and the AMF Instruction of 1 July 2004.
The custodian of the securitisation entity must be either (Article L214-48, Monetary and Financial Code):
A French credit institution (or a French branch of a credit institution incorporated in the European Economic Area (EEA)).
Any institution approved by the Committee on Credit Institutions and Investment Firms (Comité des établissements de crédit et des entreprises d'investissement).
When securitisation vehicles issue securities which are publicly sold, these securities must be rated according to Article L214-44 of the Monetary and Financial Code. This provides that a document must be prepared by an approved institution containing:
An appraisal of the characteristics of the units to be issued by the FCT.
The debts which it proposes to acquire.
An assessment of the risks inherent in these debts.
The document must be annexed to the information memorandum (note d'information) and sent to the potential subscribers to the fund.
For units that are privately placed and where no information memorandum is required, a rating is not required but may be done for commercial reasons.
Securitisation Entities are usually established in France. Generally, Securitisation Entities established offshore cannot conduct activities in France. French Securitisation Entities are not strictly considered to be credit institutions. However, they do benefit from a specific exemption from the Banking Monopoly Law.
The acquisition on a regular basis of non-matured receivables from originators in France is a credit activity which only licensed or "passported" credit institutions can carry out. Although Securitisation Entities are not credit institutions, Article L511-6 of the Monetary and Financial Code allows them to buy non-matured receivables.
The Bankruptcy Law does not apply to FCTs and SDTs. The 2008 Ordinance expressly disapplies the relevant provisions of Book VI of the Commercial Code in relation to French Securitisation Entities. Therefore, Securitisation Entities are considered as bankruptcy remote under French Law.
In addition, a number of structuring features are used to mitigate a potential insolvency risk, including:
Limiting the securitisation entity's activities to securitisation.
Ensuring that the securitisation entity has no contractual liabilities unrelated to the relevant securitisation.
Ensuring that the investors' and creditors' recourse is limited to the securitisation assets.
Securitisation Entities are organised as autonomous institutions, that both:
Are managed by an independent FCT manager.
Have their assets segregated from the transferor's assets.
Therefore, the risk of consolidation of Securitisation Entities' assets with those of the transferor is remote. The consolidation of assets in a bankruptcy context is restricted to specific situations where there is either:
Commingling (that is, mixing together) of the assets of two corporations.
De facto management.
The risk of assets clawback in a transferor's insolvency is also remote (see Question 17).
It is possible to assign future receivables. However, this may involve risk as, despite the assignment, the amounts payable by the debtor after the start of insolvency proceedings against the originator may be held to form part of the insolvent originator's estate. This would leave the assignee with an unsecured claim in the originator's insolvency for those amounts.
However, a transfer of future receivables to a securitisation entity remains effective despite the start of an insolvency proceeding against the originator (Article L214-43, Monetary and Financial Code). Therefore, the risk outlined above should be avoided, subject to the court's interpretation.
In many securitisations where the originator remains in charge of the collection of the securitised receivables (that is, servicing the receivables), there is a risk that the securitised receivables proceeds are both:
Commingled with the assets of the originator.
Retained by the bankruptcy administrator after occurrence of a bankruptcy affecting the originator.
This risk can be mitigated by creating a special collection account. The management company and the entity responsible for servicing the receivables can agree to credit collected sums to a specially dedicated account of the FCT, from which the creditors of the entity responsible for servicing the receivables cannot claim payment (even if the entity becomes the subject of insolvency proceedings) (Article L214-46-1, Monetary and Financial Code).
The main features of this special account are that:
It can be opened in the name of the servicer, but the FCT is the sole beneficiary of the amounts credited.
The management company can manage and dispose of the sums in the account, subject to and in accordance with the terms of the bank account agreement.
If sums other than the sums generated by the transferred receivables are credited to the account, the entity responsible for servicing the receivables must prove that the other sums are not owed and due to the FCT.
A securitisation entity generally finances its activities by issuing debt instruments such as notes (titres de créances négociables or obligations). An FCT can also issue units and an SDT can issue shares. These can be issued publicly or privately. Under French law a public offer of securities (appel public à l'épargne) is defined as either:
The admission to trading of securities on a regulated market.
The issue or sale of securities to the public by means of publicity or solicitation (démarchage), or through a bank or financial services provider.
However, the issue or sale of securities to the following, acting on their own account, does not amount to a public offer:
Qualified investors (that is, broadly, corporate entities with the competence and means necessary to understand the risks inherent in transactions relating to financial instruments). French regulations define precisely who qualified investors are.
A limited circle of investors.
French law does not permit the solicitation of individual investors for FCT securities. Therefore, public offering of FCT securities cannot be made by way of canvassing and solicitation of private individual investors (démarchage). This prohibition is backed by criminal sanctions.
Are the securities usually listed on a regulated exchange in your jurisdiction or in another jurisdiction?
If in your jurisdiction, please briefly summarise the main documents required to make an application to list debt securities on the main regulated exchange in your jurisdiction. Are there any share capital requirements?
If a particular exchange (domestic or foreign) is usually chosen for listing the securities, please briefly summarise the main reasons for this.
It is possible to list FCT units or notes, and SDT shares or notes, in France. However, this is rare due to practical reasons such as cost and timing. Listing in Dublin or Luxembourg is frequently preferred by issuers.
Listing FCT units or notes, and SDT shares or notes, in Paris requires the preparation of an AMF-approved information memorandum or prospectus (note d'information). This document takes the form of a reference document (describing the issuer structure) and an operation note (note d'opération) (describing the securities' features). Where an issuer makes only a single issue of units, the reference document and pricing supplement (that is, the document including all the financial information related to the units, including issue price and maturity) are in practice prepared and published as a single information memorandum or prospectus.
In addition, all advertisements relating to a public offering of FCT units or notes, and of SDT shares or notes, must be provided to the AMF before their distribution.
The trust concept has been recently introduced in the form of a fiducie. However, securities can be issued without creating a trust or fiducie.
The Securitisation Law, as amended, contemplates the possibility of FCTs and SDTs (or parts of these entities) making multiple issues of units or notes. If a securitisation entity makes multiple issues, the entity's bye-laws (règlement) must provide for this and explicitly state the relevant mechanisms.
Financial instruments or securities issues are generally dematerialised (that is, their property is represented by book entries in securities accounts rather than by a certificate or paper form). Shares, units and notes can be evidenced by entries in securities accounts kept with a bank or directly by the management company or custodian. Units, shares or notes issued by Securitisation Entities are generally freely negotiable.
The minimum denomination of an FCT unit is EUR150 (as at 1 May 2011, US$1 was about EUR0.7) or its foreign equivalent. This expressly contemplates FCT units being denominated in currencies other than euros.
The following are usually securitised through an FCT or SDT, irrespective of the currency of the debt:
Commercial or consumer loans.
Hire purchase receivables.
The 2008 Ordinance broadens the scope of Securitisation Entities' activities to any risks including insurance risks. It therefore officially recognises that an FCT or SDT can be used to allow insurance companies to both:
Securitise insurance risks.
Acquire exposure to insurance risks in compliance with Directive 2005/68/EC on reinsurance (Reinsurance Directive).
Securitisation Entities can acquire receivables from any person. The restriction that they could only acquire receivables from credit institutions, insurance companies or the Caisse des Dépots et Consignations (a public financial institution in France) was removed in 1998.
The acquisition of receivables by Securitisation Entities can result from an existing or a future agreement, and the amount and payment date of the debts need not be determined (that is, Securitisation Entities can acquire existing or future debts). The 2008 Decree, as amended, also expressly provides that Securitisation Entities can acquire receivables arising under hire purchase (crédit-bail) agreements.
An FCT can also acquire receivables that are delinquent or doubtful, or subject to litigation.
Receivables assigned to a particular securitisation entity can be sold by different originators. Therefore, multi-seller Securitisation Entities are a practical possibility and have been created many times in the past.
There are several ways to transfer receivables to a purchaser under French law, in particular by:
An assignment (Articles 1689 et seq., Civil Code).
A subrogation (Articles 1249 et seq., Civil Code).
A Dailly assignment (Articles L313-23 to L313-34, Monetary and Financial Code).
The Securitisation Law provides for a specific and simplified method to assign receivables to French Securitisation Entities. Such an assignment of receivables is made using a special document, called a bordereau, which the originator delivers to the management company of the securitisation entity. It is a much simpler mechanism than the ordinary methods of assignment required by French law, both in terms of efficiency and cost.
A bordereau must comply with certain formal conditions. The remittance of the bordereau encompasses the simultaneous transfer of all security interests securing the assigned debt.
It seems that all types of receivables can be securitised. Any of the following types of debt, among others, can be securitised through an FCT irrespective of the currency of the debt:
Debts of public entities.
Commercial or consumer loans of all kinds.
Hire purchase receivables.
Credit card receivables.
Receivables can arise from an existing agreement (acte déjà intervenu) or a future agreement (acte à intervenir). These receivables may be governed by French law or any foreign law, and can be:
Future receivables (the amount and maturity of which are not determined on the relevant transfer date).
Defaulted receivables (créances immobilisées).
Doubtful receivables (créances douteuses).
Receivables subject to litigation (créances litigieuses).
Debt securities (governed by French law or foreign law) representing a monetary claim against the relevant issuer.
The assignment of receivables to an FCT takes effect and becomes enforceable against third parties as of the date of the bordereau (see Question 12). The transfer entails the transfer of any security interest securing the transferred debt and is enforceable against third parties without further formality. This makes the bordereau method of transfer particularly attractive in cases involving mortgage loans. The transfer of mortgage loans using alternative methods of transfer can involve very significant costs, such as registration and notarial fees.
Contracts underlying the securitised receivables should be reviewed in advance to identify any provisions requiring other parties' prior consent to or contractual prohibitions on transferring such receivables. If these provisions are present, it may be necessary to obtain the debtor's consent before the securitisation.
Legislative provisions relating to data protection or restrictions on disclosure of information may create an obstacle to the transfer of debts to third parties. However, when the originator/assignor services assigned receivables under an agreement with the FCT's management company, the provisions may not apply.
French provisions on data protection and banking secrecy seek to prevent any communication abuse of personal data. Law No. 78-17 on data protection (Loi informatique et liberté) created a supervisory body responsible for ensuring that personal data is adequately stored and treated. In addition, where the assignor of the receivables is a credit institution, the provisions of the law relating to banking secrecy apply (Article L511-33, Monetary and Financial Code). These rules may prohibit banks from transferring any information to third parties without the prior consent of the underlying obligor, although the Law No. 2008-776 of 4 August 2008 for modernisation of the economy excludes the application of banking secrecy laws in many situations. This law expressly sets aside statutory provisions on professional secrecy in relation to confidential information to be provided in the context of an assignment of receivables.
It appears that there is no precedent or case law in relation to which a transfer of title to receivables to a French securitisation entity has been re-characterised as a secured loan. This is not a real concern under French Law.
The transfer of receivables to a securitisation entity is definite (Article L214-43, Monetary and Financial Code). The risk of clawback (that is, where the transfer of the debts by the originator to the FCT becomes void after the transferor's bankruptcy) is remote.
The Insolvency Law provides for transactions entered into on preferential terms to be set aside in certain circumstances, under:
Article 107-2. This provides for the automatic avoidance of any contract in which the insolvent party's obligations are manifestly greater than those of the other party to the contract.
Article 108. This gives a court the power to set aside any transaction entered into for value if, at the time of entering into the contract, one party knew of the other party's insolvency.
These provisions apply to transactions entered into during the suspect period (période suspecte), which is fixed by the court at a maximum of 18 months before the judgment marking the start of the insolvency proceedings.
Despite any insolvency procedure opened on the basis of Book VI of the Commercial Code, or any equivalent foreign procedure against the transferor after the transfer, the transfer remains effective after the court decision opening insolvency (2008 Ordinance). Subject to court interpretation, this clearly affirms the legislator's intention to disapply the clawback provisions (see above) in the context of a securitisation.
In relation to over-collateralisation (see Question 21), there is a view that Article 107 of the Insolvency Law does not apply because the originator usually retains the right to the FCT's liquidation surplus. The right to this surplus is regarded as compensating for the undervalue created by the over-collateralisation.
Choice of law clauses in contracts are usually recognised and enforced on the basis of the Rome Convention on the law applicable to contractual obligations (1980/934/EEC) (Rome Convention), which was ratified by France on 21 June 1992. This Convention embodies the principles of French private international law applicable to the governing law of contracts, including those entered into with non-EU persons. The Rome Convention allows the parties to a contract to choose any foreign law to govern their contract, provided that both:
The contract can be qualified as an international contract (that is, the contract involves non-French element(s)).
The law is not chosen to avoid French public policy considerations.
Under French conflict of laws rules, subject to any treaty provisions to the contrary, the assignment of the receivables must be perfected under the laws of the debtor's own jurisdiction. Therefore, notice of the assignment must be given according to the law governing the assignment agreement.
The parties to an offshore securitisation of French receivables are occasionally willing to document the transfer of receivables under the law of another jurisdiction, such as English law.
In principle, an assignment agreement of French receivables can be governed by foreign law, provided that this choice of law is not made with a view to avoiding mandatory provisions of French law. However, it may be desirable that French law receivables owed by French debtors be assigned under French law (whether or not the originator is French), as this will facilitate recognition of the transfer by French courts if the matter is disputed.
Since the 2008 Ordinance, the transfer of receivables to a French securitisation entity can be made under a foreign law selected by the parties. This may facilitate the transfer of non-French receivables to a French securitisation entity.
The 2008 Ordinance removes the previous prohibition of Securitisation Entities creating collateral over their assets. They can now provide collateral or security interests over the receivables they hold (see Question 20) to either:
Any other creditors.
For further information on taking security over assets in France, see PLC Cross-border Finance Handbook, Country Q&A, France.
Securitisation Entities can grant security over their assets (see Question 19). There is no specific requirement in relation to the method of providing the security. Therefore, a pledge or fiduciary transfer can be used. The creation of a trust is generally not necessary as, under French law, security can be created in favour of the noteholders.
The following credit enhancement techniques are commonly used by French Securitisation Entities:
Guarantees provided by the originator, an affiliate of the originator, a credit establishment, an insurance company or the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations (see Question 11).
Issuance of specific units (that is, subordinated units redeemable after full redemption of the notes and senior units).
Pre-existing guarantees or security attached to the debts acquired by a French securitisation entity.
This list is not exhaustive, allowing for other credit enhancement techniques such as cash reserve funds. Any of these credit enhancement techniques can be structured to support an umbrella securitisation entity or any individual part of it.
The securitisation entity's regulation must set out the terms and procedure of any credit enhancement.
For further information, see Model Guide, Credit enhancement.
Liquidity support is generally provided through subordinated credit lines and cash reserves (see Model Guide, Risk management and liquidity support (www.practicallaw.com/2-501-2997)).
Credit facilities can only be provided by credit institutions and other institutions defined by the Monetary and Financial Code. Commercial companies are generally not allowed to extend credit.
The paying agent is in charge of all payments to unit holders and noteholders, but does not handle allocation of funds to other parties according to the waterfall. The management company does this.
Extraction of surplus amounts held by the securitisation entity is generally made by way of specific subordinated notes or units combined with an adapted waterfall.
Issuing specific categories of units or notes is the most common form of profit extraction technique. The rights of each category of units or notes are defined in the securitisation entity's regulations.
The sovereign debt issued by France is rated AAA by Moody's, Fitch and Standard & Poor's.
The rating of securities issued by French Securitisation Entities can be affected by certain defects or weaknesses affecting the underlying securitised receivables. It seems that there are no major problems or defects relating to ! the French securitisation legal framework that would be detrimental to their rating.
What transfer taxes may apply to the transfer of the receivables? Please give the applicable tax rates and explain how transfer taxes are usually dealt with.
Is withholding tax payable in certain circumstances? Please give the applicable tax rates and explain how withholding taxes are usually dealt with.
Are there any other tax issues that apply to securitisations in your jurisdiction?
No transfer tax, stamp duty or other documentary taxes apply on the assignment of receivables to an FCT, unless the assignment is registered with the French tax authorities, in which case a nominal tax amount of EUR125 is payable.
Usually, no withholding tax applies to payments in relation to trade receivables. However, there is a risk that the tax authorities could seek to apply Article 182B of the Tax Code (Code Général des Impôts) to domestic lease and hire purchase (crédit bail) receivables. Article 182B imposes a withholding tax on payments that are made both:
By a debtor carrying on business in France to a beneficiary who does not have a permanent professional establishment in France.
In consideration for any services supplied or used in France.
In relation to loan interest, no withholding tax applies on domestic interest payments. Where a French debtor makes interest payments to a foreign beneficiary, withholding tax applies in principle at the rate of 15%. However, exemptions are available under domestic tax law. In particular, Article 131 quater of the Tax Code provides that interest paid abroad on loans entered into abroad and granted to French legal entities is exempt from withholding tax. However, it is not clear whether this exemption is applicable in relation to loans first granted by a French lender.
The rule set out above in relation to withholding tax is subject to applicable relieving provisions contained in any double tax agreement between France and the offshore vehicle home jurisdiction.
FCTs benefit from a specific tax treatment as they are specifically designed to be tax neutral. For the tax regime applicable to unit holders or noteholders, income on units or debt securities held by French tax-resident individuals is subject to income tax at a progressive rate. The tax regime applicable to an SDT has not been published yet.
Synthetic securitisations are possible under French law. The most common form is the implementation through credit derivatives.
A number of possible alternative structures allow French originators to transfer the economic risk related to receivables but do not always qualify as securitisation structures under French law. Two of these are outlined below:
Synthetic securitisation. It is possible to have French receivables bought by an EU bank (that is, a bank licensed in the EU) located outside France. The bank then buys a protection against default from the securitisation vehicle or a third party and therefore transfers the whole of its exposure on the receivables. If properly documented, the arrangement should not generate any capital adequacy cost for the bank, although the final determination of this question will be a matter for the bank's own regulatory authority.
Two-tier structure. Another possibility is for the receivables to be assigned to a French securitisation entity through a bank or an insurance company. An offshore securitisation vehicle then buys all or part of the notes issued by the French securitisation entity. The particular advantage of this structure is that it combines certain advantages of French securitisation (in particular, the simplicity of the assignment mechanism and the certainty that all security is transferred without further cost or formality) with the flexibility of an offshore vehicle.
The Securitisation Law has recently been modernised by the 2008 Ordinance. Further implementing regulations are awaited relating to the tax treatment of an SDT. Following the financial crisis, there is consideration at European and French authority level in relation to regulating securitisation.
In its Quarterly Review of September 2009, the BIS set out measures that could be taken to revive and strengthen the securitisation process. It highlighted the roles of:
Over-reliance on ratings.
In this context, simplicity should be developed through an increased standardisation of structures, based on fewer tranches and less reliance on structural features (other than subordination) for credit enhancement. The BIS also pointed out the need for new standard disclosures and reporting procedures (for new and outstanding securitisations), applicable to issuers and servicers, in relation to both the:
Underlying risks and assets.
The BIS also proposed the implementation of risk retention by originators and arrangers, used as incentives for better structuring.
Additionally, the authorities are currently working on a new scheme to improve the financing of home loans through a vehicle issuing cover bonds eligible to European Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities (UCITS).
On 22 December 2010, the French Parliament enacted a new Law regarding Banking and Financial Regulation. Certain provisions of this Law relate to securitisation, in particular:
In relation to the supervision of rating agencies.
The creation of a new vehicle for issuance of cover bonds secured by residential real estate financing called Sociétés de Financement de l’habitat. These legal entities can issue covered bonds secured by portfolio of home loans and enjoy an enhanced legal regime improving the protection of investors.
Authorisation granted to Securitisation Entities to hold company shares resulting from the conversion of debts.
In addition, new capital requirements regulations impose on the originator of a securitisation a retention obligation for the purposes of calculating its capital requirements. This retention obligation, often called the "5% skin in the game rule", is set out in two separate sets of amendments to the CRD, comprising Directive 2006/48/EC and Directive 2006/49/EC (referred to as CRD2 and CRD3) and transposed into French banking regulations by an amendment to a Decree (Arrêté) dated 20 February 2007, which became effective on 30 December 2010.
De Pardieu Brocas Maffei
Qualified. Avocat, Paris Bar
Areas of practice. Structured finance and banking activities (including asset finance, acquisition finance, project finance and export credit); capital markets (including securitisation and derivatives); financial services; regulated investments funds; and employee share plans.
Advice in relation to structuring covered bonds and creation of private securitisation vehicles.