As of January 1, 2016, the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD), implemented in Italy by Legislative Decrees No. 180 and 181 of November 16, 2015, is fully applicable. This Directive introduces in all European countries harmonized rules to prevent and manage crises of banks and investment firms, limiting the possibility of public intervention by the state. Specifically, Banking Crisis Resolution Authorities (in Italy, the Bank of Italy – Resolution and Crisis Management Unit) are given powers and tools to resolve a bank that is failing or at risk of failing in order to ensure the continuity of its essential functions. Resolution authorities, in the event of a bank’s failure, will be able to:
- Sell part of the business to a private buyer;
- Temporarily transfer the assets and liabilities to an entity (bridge bank) established and operated by the authorities to continue the most important functions, with a view to later sale in the market;
- TTransfer the impaired assets to a vehicle (bad bank) to manage their liquidation within a reasonable timeframe;
- Apply bail-in, that is, write down shares and loans and convert them to equity to absorb losses and recapitalize the troubled bank or a new entity that continues its core functions.
Bail-in is one of the tools applicable in a resolution procedure. Under bail-in, the losses of banks brought into resolution must be absorbed by shareholders and creditors according to a specific hierarchy:
- Subordinated or similar bonds
- Senior bonds
- Deposits above 100,000.00 euros
All liabilities, with the exception of a few expressly identified, are subject to the bail-in, including:
- deposits protected by the deposit guarantee scheme, i.e., those up to 100,000 euros
- guaranteed liabilities, including covered bonds (covered bonds) and other guaranteed instruments
- liabilities arising from the holding of customer assets or under a fiduciary relationship, such as the contents of safe deposit boxes or securities held in a special account
- interbank liabilities (excluding intercompany relationships) with an original maturity of less than 7 days
- liabilities arising from participation in payment systems with a remaining duration of less than7 days
- employee payables, trade payables and tax payables, provided they are privileged under bankruptcy law
The bail-in provisions may be applied to financial instruments already outstanding, even if issued before January 1, 2016.
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SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) means the area in which users of payment instruments-citizens, businesses, public administrations and other economic operators-can make and receive non-cash payments in euros, regardless of their residence, both within national borders and between different countries, under the same conditions and with the same rights and obligations.
In numerical terms, SEPA covers 33 countries: all European Union countries plus Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Monaco.
As of February 1, 2014, both direct debits and domestic credit transfers were permanently replaced by European payment instruments: the SEPA Direct Debit (or SDD or SEPA debit) and the SEPA Credit Transfer (or SCT or SEPA credit transfer)
By Feb. 1, 2016, businesses also had to adapt, with the exception of microenterprises, their information systems to use the new SEPA formats based on the ISO 20022 XML international colloquy standards.
Other payment services such as Ri.Ba, MAV, RAV, Bank and Postal Bills and urgent transfers continue to be used.
To facilitate compliance with the due diligence requirements dictated by Italian and European anti-money laundering regulations, Cherry Bank S.p.A. provides its counterparties with the following documentation: