EU Action Plan for the European FinTech Sector and its Polish Context

European FlagOn 8 March 2018, the European Commission (EC) published its long-awaited new FinTech Action Plan. The EC understands FinTech to be technology-enabled innovation in financial services, and the strategy covers developments related to new technologies which are changing the financial industry and the way consumers and firms access services. At the same time, the action plan also covers related challenges, such as cyber threats, and proposes the assessment of innovative technologies, such as blockchain, cryptocurrencies and cloud computing services.

EU Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis recently compared the increasing digitalization of financial services to a global ‘space race’ – in which Europe should not lose out. Various national supervisory authorities in Europe are concerned about the ‘gamification’ of, and advertisement methods for, certain financial services and warn of the risks associated with Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). An important policy debate for FinTech is thus in full swing at EU level.

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Binding and Permissive Rules in the New Hungarian Civil Code

Hungarian LawOne of the greatest conceptual changes and innovations of the currently effective new Civil Code (Act V of 2013 on the Civil Code) was the permissive regulation of the corporate rules, which is more flexible than the former binding approach.

Members and founders of a legal entity can now – in the deed of association – prescribe alternative rules regarding their relations with each other and the company or regarding the organization of the company. This flexibility allows a legal entity to implement custom-made rules that best serve its day-to-day operations.

However, there are limits to this freedom. Members and founders of a legal entity cannot derogate from the new Civil Code’s provisions if law prohibits it; it violates the interests of its creditors, employees and minority members; or it prevents the effective supervision of the legal entity. When the new Civil Code was enforced, it was widely agreed that the judicature would have a highly important role related to interpretation and clarification of the flexibility of the permissive regulation.

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Piercing the Corporate Veil in Poland – Is This Possible?

Restructuring MazeOne of the many questions asked by our clients is: “Does Polish law recognise the concept of ‘piercing the corporate veil?’” Is it possible to disregard the separate legal personality of a company or corporation and make shareholders liable for the debts of the company? This question has been asked since the introduction of the market economy in Poland (in 1989) and there is still no clear answer. Continue Reading

Poland’s Draft GDPR Implementation Law – Where Are We At?

ComplianceOn 15 January 2018, the Ministry of Digital Affairs (Ministry) held a conference to summarize the outcome of a public consultation on Poland’s draft GDPR implementation law. The consultation invited all citizens and entrepreneurs to express their opinion on the draft law on the protection of personal data, which was released by the Ministry on 14 September 2017.

The public consultation phase ended on 13 October 2017, with over 700 pages of proposals received. More than 400 participants from various industries attended the conference and took to the floor to discuss the new legislation and provide suggested solutions to be incorporated in the law. The Ministry rejected the vast majority of the proposed 641 amendments, giving consideration to just a few of them. Below is the summary of the major issues, which proved to be the most controversial.

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Piercing of Corporate Veil and De-facto Directors in Slovakia

The Slovak Ministry of Justice was very busy last year, and the recent amendment to the Commercial Code introduces a number of provisions that are aimed at fixing local malpractice related to mergers and liquidation of companies, use of “straw men” as executives and the impact of bad decisions of shareholders on the local affiliates.

In a previous post, we covered the topic of increased liability of executives for not filing the petition for bankruptcy. However, the Ministry of Justice did not stop just there. Continue Reading

Squire Patton Boggs step closer to crown its efforts

New RulesIncreasingly in recent years, businesses and other organizations have sought to understand the complex nature of the legal relationships between the European Commission, EU member states and the European Parliament, and to engage more effectively with “government,” whether at local, national or European levels.

Some governments across Europe have been stepping up to address this challenge by providing guidance as to how businesses can best engage with public bodies in their own jurisdictions. It is particularly welcome to see the Czech government, towards the end of last year, finalize its new Lobbying Act, which is intended to shed light on the process of legislation and define more clearly the parameters of lobbying and advocacy with government. Continue Reading

PSD2 Fintech Puzzle – To Screen Scrape or Not to Screen Scrape?

PSD2

The Polish Financial Supervision Authority (KNF) recently published (on 12 January 2018) a long-awaited statement relating to the “selected regulator’s expectations” as regards the interim period(s) relating to the implementation of the Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2) in Poland.

The statement is key for banks and FinTech companies (TPPs) to understand how to operate until the full implementation of PSD2 in Poland. It also addresses the European Banking Authority’s (EBA) opinion of 19 December 2017 on the various issues resulting from the implementation of PSD2, in particular on the possibility of a “screen scraping”.

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The Electronic Communication Platform for Business Entities is Now Operational

Electronic CommunicationAs of 1 January 2018, Hungary’s new communication platform is now in use. It is a concept similar to the electronic communication platform that has been widely available to private individuals for some time. The purpose of both platforms is to enable users to communicate efficiently with the central and local governments online. While private individuals are free to choose whether to use the electronic communication, businesses must act via the new platform. As of the beginning of the year, the electronic communication platform is the only route to reach out to authorities and government agencies and vice versa; the government will communicate with the business entities exclusively through this electronic platform. Each business entity must specify an email address in its corporate data.

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