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Responsibility regime: the Luxembourg fallacious transposition and communication

As Luc Frieden stated in 2004, "Based on clear and pragmatic legal rules that are fully compliant with the EU legal framework as well as on the unique international experience built up over the past decades, the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg will continue to undertake every effort to develop Luxembourg as the European hub for investment funds both for European and non-EU financial operators." Cf. article « The art of Communication », Fundlook, July-September 2004, page 3)

We have seen that the fully compliance with the EU legal framework is a charade for the depositary duties.



What about the Responsibility regime?


Investors may face a risk associated to the depositary function not only if the depositary fails to perform its duties ('improper performance') and if the depositary defaults, as it is stated in the working paper, but as well at the beginning if a requirement is not enforced so that the set of relating duties cannot exit, what could be called ‘performance denial’.

In the Luxembourg situation, the safe keeping duty was dropped in the law, so that there cannot be any performance in the scope of the safekeeping requirement.

As far as the delegation to a third party is concerned, what is stated in the Luxembourg law is worth reading (click on the table):


It is interesting to see that the Luxembourg law of 2002 does not refer to the article relating to the depositary’s liability when assets are entrusted to a third party. The Irish law does. The Luxembourg law of 2002 admits the custody duty where the directive and the Irish law use the word safekeeping.

Additionally, what is stated in the Luxembourg Circular AML 91/75 demonstrate the lack of responsibility of those - lawyers and other professionals - that formulate the way the depositary may discharge its duty of supervision:  when it is satisfied from the outset and during the whole of the duration of the contract that the third parties with which the assets of the UCI are on deposit are reputable and competent and have sufficient financial resources.


This is not compatible with the supervision duties as stated in the directive and as recalled in the working paper:


Article 22 of the UCITS Directive stipulates that a "Depositary shall:

- ensure that the sale, issue, re-purchase, redemption and cancellation of units effected on behalf of a common fund or by a management company are carried out in accordance with the law and the fund rules;

- ensure that the value of units is calculated in accordance with the law and the fund rules;

- carry out the instructions of the management company, unless they conflict with the law or the fund rules;

- ensure that in transactions involving a common fund's assets any consideration is remitted to it within the usual time limits;

- ensure that a common fund's income is applied in accordance with the law and the fund rules."


Luxembourg was not allowed to discharge the depositary’ liability to a third party as it is stated in the so called legal and regulatory framework that is not the faithful transposition of the UCITS directive.




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