Banking and financial law
The law firm GIACCARDI & BREZZO Avocats works with banks, portfolio management companies and insurance companies:
• High added-value financial activities, equity capital operations
• Creation, purchase or sale of banks
• Financing operations, including syndicated loans
• Compliance with regulations, particularly in prudential matters – AML/FT-C
• Drafting and modification of standard contractual documentation
• Assistance in the settlement of disputes with clients
• Judicial litigation
Monegasque banking and financial law
The Monegasque financial law is mainly governed by the following texts: Law No. 1.338 of September 7, 2007 on financial activities and Implementing Ordinance No.1.284 of September 10, 2007, on financial activities; Law No.1.339 of September 7, 2007 on mutual funds and investment funds and Implementing Ordinance No.1.285 of September 10, 2007, on mutual funds and investment funds.
Bill No. 1035, submitted to the National Council on April 30, 2021, envisages amending Law No. 1.338 on financial activities. The Commission de Contrôle des Activités Financières (CCAF) would thus obtain the status of Ordinary Member of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO).
A reform has also been proposed regarding the right to be forgotten in the area of bank loan insurance (bill no. 251 filed with the National Council on May 10, 2021).
In addition, Bill No. 1.041 on various criminal measures to combat money laundering and fraud and counterfeiting of non-cash means of payment, submitted to the National Council on 30 June 2021, aimes to criminalise the theft and misappropriation of payment authenticators, as well as their subsequent sale or dissemination, and to specifically provide for the monitoring of banking transactions under investigative powers and techniques.
The right to a bank account was recently introduced by Law n° 1.492 of July 8, 2020, which also provides for the obligation to open a bank account in a credit institution in Monaco for any natural person exercising a professional, artisanal, commercial or industrial activity (for the exercise of the professional activity), as well as for any limited liability company, general partnership, limited partnership with shares or limited liability company (exclusively for the exercise of its professional activity).
Under the Monetary Agreement of November 29, 2011 between Monaco and the European Union, the laws of the European Union that appear in Appendix A are applicable in the Principality as soon as they are incorporated into French law.
Thus, the regulatory and prudential organisation of banks is ruled by the French monetary and financial Code.
By contrast, relations between the bank and its clients are governed by the Monegasque law.
Because two systems of laws can be applied, Monegasque banks are subject to imperative constraints imposed by the French and Monegasque supervisory authorities.
The Principality implements legal provisions equivalent to those of the European Union laws listed in Annex B of the Monetary Agreement, such as the “Anti-Money Laundering Package” (Regulation (EU) 2015/847 and Directive (EU) 2015/849 consolidated) itself aligned with the revised FATF recommendations on combating money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation of October 2015 (Law No. 1.362 of 3 August 2009 amended by Law No. 1.503 of 23 décembre 2020 – ongoing reform).
In this respect, it should be noted that the anti-money laundering and financing of terrorism legislation has established the Register of Bank Accounts and Safe Deposit Boxes maintained by SICCFIN (effective from 31 August 2021).
The Monegasque Financial Institutions also have due diligence obligations under the OECD’s Common Reporting Standard on Financial Accounts (CRS).
The Principality is party to the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters and the Multilateral Agreement between Competent Authorities on Financial Accounts. The TAXUD Agreement provides the legal and operational basis for the automatic exchange of financial account information between Monaco and the Member States of the European Union.