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Legal insecurity in Luxembourg : consequence of clear and pragmatic rules

Bloomberg has reported that BNP Paribas SA, France’s biggest bank, lost two lawsuits seeking to force UBS AG to release a combined 2.5 million euros ($3.1 million) that had been invested with two funds linked to Bernard Madoff.
UBS has won four straight rulings over investors seeking the immediate return of their funds since the bank lost the first case filed by French fund manager Oddo & Cie. seeking 30 million euros from the LuxAlpha fund. Since then, court’s have supported UBS’s arguments that it can’t release money to investors until all investor claims have been filed. UBS appealed the ruling by ordering it to reimburse a French fund-management company €30 million ($38.6 million) that had been invested with New York financier Bernard Madoff. The decision is pending.

All cases are relating to redemption requests which took place before Madoff was arrested.

Luxembourg cannot inspire confidence.

So cannot inspire confidence the CSSF, that took measures "in order to protect the interests of investors" as it said only a couple of weeks after the begining of the Madof Case.
- 03/03/2009, Withdrawal of the sicav Luxembourg Investment Fund from the official list,
- 11/02/2009, Withdrawal of the sicav HERALD (LUX) from the official list,
- 03/02/2009, Withdrawal of Luxalpha Sicav from the official list.

It is as if we had an infringement to the traffic regulations: someone burns a stop, and only three months later the whistle of the policeman is heard.

The reality is that the rules in the jurisdiction are so confused that there is an actual legal insecurity.

18:00 Posted in Luxembourg | Permalink | Comments (0)


Wind vane government on banking secrecy

The Luxembourg government cannot be taken with serious in the debate about banking secrecy. In a couple of days 3 contradictory messages were communicated.

On 3 February, Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker implied before Italian media he was open to discuss the abolition of banking secrecy with the European Commission.

On 20 February, Luxembourg minister for foreign affairs and immigration and Luxembourg's Deputy Prime Minister Jean Asselborn said in Switzerland that banking secrecy needs to be redefined, but abolishing it abruptly is not in Europe's interest

On 25 February, Luxembourg minister for justice and budget Luc Frieden said in Austria that Luxembourg and Austria were ready to take part constructively in a discussion in the EU and the OECD [Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development] on how to improve international co-operation on cross-border tax evasion, but banking secrecy is not up for negotiation

Who is expressing the actual thought of the Luxembourg government on banking secrecy?

How the jurisdiction can it inspire confidence with the stakeholders all the more than some PSF are using professional secrecy in an abusive way in doing what will be called obstruction to justice in the USA?

09:55 Posted in Luxembourg | Permalink | Comments (0)

UBS Wins Lawsuit : clear and pragmatic law and regulation means risk before the court

Bloomberg has reported that UBS AG won a ruling in a Luxembourg lawsuit filed by Banca Intermobiliare SpA seeking to force the release of 5.1 million euros ($6.5 million) from an account belonging to a fund that had invested with Bernard Madoff.
Banca Intermobiliare SpA argued UBS had a duty to pay it after sending the Italian bank a confirmation for a redemption request from the British Virgin Islands-based Groupement Financier fund made before Madoff was arrested Dec. 11.
As Bloomberg observed, While this decision was the first to deal with UBS as an account holder rather than as custodian, it may show that the regulator’s statement against UBS has “limited” influence on the courts.
It is positive as it demonstrates that Justice in Luxembourg is independant.
But it is negative as well as it confirms that what professional and politicians in Luxembourg said about the investor's protection is a charade : clear and pragmatic law and regulation means risk before the court.

08:13 Posted in Luxembourg | Permalink | Comments (0)