The competent committee of the Parliament adopted the draft new Code of Companies and Associations on second reading.
For an outline of the main changes vis-a-vis the existing regulations, you may refer to the slides prepared by Paul Alain Foriers, Partner in our Corporate M&A department and one of the four legal experts appointed by the Minister of Justice: La réforme du Code des sociétés - Quelques questions importantes (available in French only).
Although the Insurance Distribution Directive (“IDD”) was supposed to be implemented on 1st October 2018 at the latest, the Belgian transposition law was only adopted on 14 November 2018. This implementation law is characterised by an expected dose of gold-plating together with a few surprising good news for the industry. In this news, we give our two-cent on the upcoming changes we thought were the most interesting to the industry – and hopefully the less boring to read about.
This article summarises the major changes entered into force on 1st November 2018.
The public offer of investment instruments and their admission to trading on a regulated market used to be governed by the law of 16 June 2006 implementing the Directive 2003/71/EC of 4 November 2003 (the “Law of 2006”).
While mandatory disclosure of information is vital to protect investors and constitutes a necessary step towards completion of the so-called ‘EU Capital Markets Union’, the rules laid down in the Directive 2003/17/EC led to divergent approaches across Europe and resulted in significant impediments to cross-border offers of securities, multiple listings on regulated markets and to EU consumer protection rules.
On Tuesday 23 October, Sandrine Hirsch, Partner in our Corporate M&A department, gave a lecture on the obligations related to the new UBO Register at a workshop organised by the association “Avocats en droit boursier et financier/Advocaten in het beurs- en financieel recht”, in the presence of Mrs Annika Agemans from the SPF Finances/FOD Financiën.
Sandrine’s presentation is available here (in French).
One of the biggest threats associated with virtual currencies (or cryptocurrencies) is their potential use for money laundering and terrorist financing purposes. With the adoption of the 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive ( “AMLD5”) on 30 May 2018, the European Union attempts, amongst other things, to address this issue.
Following the entry into force of the GDPR on 25 May 2018 (see our news “GDPR – Are you ready?”), the law of 30 July 2018 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data, which repeals the law of 8 December 1992, has been published in the Belgian Official Journal on 5 September 2018 and entered into force the same day.
At last, after roughly two years, the EU Directive 2016/943 (hereinafter: The Directive) of 8 July 2016 has finally been transposed by the long-awaited Belgian Law of 30 July 2018 on the Protection of Trade Secrets (hereinafter: The Law) that entered into force on 24 August 2018.
The Law brings clarity, among other things, by giving a legal definition of “trade secrets” and provides useful mechanisms that allow more effective enforcement of the right to the protection of trade secrets.
Considering that The Law is in large part a copy/paste-exercise from The Directive, we first recollect the main objectives and principles of The Directive.
Numerous articles compare different European countries or compare Europe and the US when it comes to financial regulation, the IPO market or the types of FinTech applications that are easily adopted (or not) by the public. We decided to take a look in a different direction and together with the Japanese law firm Keiwa Sogo Law Offices, Simont Braun’s Digital Finance team examined the FinTech trends in both Belgium and Japan. Interesting resemblances, but also surprising differences came out from this analysis and showed that there are different means to the same end, especially when it comes to payments.