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.

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 sued Greece on account of the restructuring of the country’s sovereign debt, after having bought Greek government bonds at a knockdown value. The investors lost the case. (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).

Photo: Maalokki / CC BY 2.0

(March 2020)

Yonhap | 12-Apr-2024
An international tribunal ordered South Korea to pay 43.8 billion won (US$32 million) in compensation to US-based hedge fund Mason Capital in an investor-state suit the company filed over a controversial 2015 merger of two Samsung affiliates
Yonhap | 12-Apr-2024
La Cour permanente d’arbitrage à La Haye, au Pays-Bas, a rendu son verdict près de six ans après que le fonds basé à New York a lancé le processus de règlement des litiges.
Business Wire | 26-Jan-2024
Nexo AG et ses filiales ont déposé une demande d’arbitrage devant le CIRDI pour plus de 3 milliards de dollars contre la République de Bulgarie pour des dommages et des pertes d’opportunités.
Novinite | 22-Jan-2024
Cryptocurrency-based financial services company Nexo has filed a case against Bulgaria in an international arbitration court in the USA.
Nikkei Asia | 16-Jan-2024
Investors in Hong Kong are preparing to file a request for arbitration against the Swiss government for writing off the AT1 bonds issued by Credit Suisse, claiming the move was at odds with a bilateral investment treaty between the jurisdictions.
Inside Climate News | 15-Jan-2024
When Ecuador placed a windfall tax on foreign oil operations, French and U.S. companies filed claims—and were awarded more than $800 million.
Al Habtoor | 10-Jan-2024
Emirati conglomerate Al Habtoor Group served a notice of an Investment Treaty Dispute against the Lebanese Republic in connection with Lebanon’s breaches of the Bilateral Investment Treaty between the United Arab Emirates and Lebanon.
CDR | 10-Jan-2024
A wrangle over a shareholding in a Tunisian bank which dates back to the 1980s has finally been resolved in arbitration.
ABH Holdings S.A. | 5-Jan-2024
ABHH seeks full compensation for the expropriation of Sense Bank by the Ukrainian authorities through enforced nationalisation.
African Manager | 3-Jan-2024
Le ministre tunisien des Domaines de l’Etat et des affaires foncières a révélé que les frais d’arbitrage et de contentieux dans le dossier de la Banque franco-tunisienne s’élèvent à environ 13 millions de dinars (4 millions d’euros).