Financial stability

Investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) is one of the greatest threats to the re-regulation of finance. ISDS empowers the very firms that financial regulation seeks to govern. These firms can bypass host country domestic courts and directly challenge domestic policies in a parallel system of justice.

Financial and non-financial firms have increasingly used ISDS provisions in trade agreements to challenge financial regulations and emergency financial stability measures.

As of end of 2014, 7% of all ICSID cases concerned the financial sector.

Most well-known cases include:

• Investors vs. Argentina: When the country froze its utility rates and devaluated its currency in response to its 2001-2002 financial crisis, it was hit by over 40 lawsuits from investors, including Suez, Vivendi (France) and Anglian Water (UK). By January 2014, Argentina had been ordered to pay a total of US$980 million (various BITs invoked).

• Poštová Banka (Slovakia) & Istrokapital (Cyprus) vs. Greece: the Slovak bank and its Cypriot investor are currently suing Greece on account of the restructuring of the country’s sovereign debt, after having bought Greek government bonds at a knockdown value (Greece-Slovakia & Cyprus-Greece BITs invoked).

• Saluka (Netherlands) vs. Czech Republic: the Dutch investment corporation filed an ISDS dispute against the Czech government for not bailing out a private bank, in which the company had a stake, in the same way that the government bailed out banks in which the government had a major stake. The bailouts came in response to a widespread bank debt crisis. The investor was awarded US$236 million (Czech Republic-Netherlands BIT invoked).

(November 2015)

South Centre | 19-Feb-2018
Inconsistencies and even contradictions have emerged in dispute settlement decisions, sometimes at the expense of public good, sovereignty and financial and economic stability.
Business Day | 7-Feb-2018
International mining companies, which include Randgold, Glencore and China Molybdenum, have said they will challenge the new law through international arbitration, and are lobbying Kabila not to sign it.
Money Control | 24-Jan-2018
Cairn commenced international arbitration proceedings against India under the UK—India Bilateral Investment Treaty in 2015.
Economic Times | 19-Jan-2018
The government has opposed Vodafone Group’s proposal to merge its two arbitration cases against India, and sought an injunction from Delhi High Court to stop the telco from proceeding with the second arbitration filed in the UK, saying it was an "abusive action".
Korea Times | 10-Jan-2018
Lone Star was embroiled in two lawsuits at that time, and it was found guilty in one of them, he claims.
Korea Times | 9-Jan-2018
Lawyers for a Democratic Society sent a letter to the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes, demanding a speedy settlement of the dispute between the Korean government and the U.S. buyout fund Lone Star Funds.
Economic Times | 9-Jan-2018
Vodafone Group has said it would agree to consolidate its two international arbitrations initiated against India in connection with a tax demand of ₹11,000 crore, if the country were to agree as well.
Economic Times | 3-Jan-2018
Since the auto major has approached the Madras High Court, remedy under a treaty would now be barred, the Government said.
Crime Moldova | 15-Dec-2017
The Republic of Moldova has won the case in the international process initiated by the Russian companies Evrobalt and Kompozit in May and June of 2016, after the NBM suspended their rights and forced them to sell their shares at Moldova Agroindbank.
Reuters | 14-Dec-2017
India’s top court allowed Britain’s Vodafone to initiate a second arbitration process under an India-UK investment pact .

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