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ICMA GMRA legal opinions

Find out more about the GMRA

 


Background

For many years, ICMA has obtained and annually updated legal opinions on the Global Master Repurchase Agreement from numerous jurisdictions worldwide. For more information on GMRA, click here.

 

2019 GMRA legal opinions

ICMA members were informed about the publication of the 2019 GMRA Opinions in ICMA circular No. 2 dated April 9, 2019.

 

Jurisdictions

ICMA has recently obtained updates to a selected number of the 2018 legal opinions on the GMRA. Updates have been obtained only for jurisdictions which are not EU member states. Once there is sufficient clarity on the arrangements for the United Kingdom leaving the European Union, ICMA will schedule the update of the EU member state opinions, including the legal opinions for England and Scotland. Members will be alerted to the publication of these opinions in a future Circular. 


Beneficiaries 

The 2019 GMRA legal opinions have been obtained by ICMA, for the benefit of ICMA and its members1.

 

Agreement coverage

With the support of the ICMA European Repo and Collateral Committee, ICMA has discontinued coverage of the GMRA 1995 in the 2019 GMRA legal opinions. The 2019 legal opinions cover:

  • the GMRA 1995 as amended by the Amendment Agreement;
  • the GMRA 1995 as amended by the 2011 GMRA Protocol (Revised);
  • the GMRA 2000;
  • the GMRA 2000 as amended by the 2011 GMRA Protocol (Revised);
  • the GMRA 2011; and
  • the GMRA 2011 as amended by the 2011 GMRA Protocol (Revised),

together, the “GMRA”.

Scope

The 2019 GMRA legal opinions cover both the enforceability of the netting provisions of the GMRA as well as the validity of the GMRA as a whole.

Furthermore, the opinions address the issue of recharacterisation risk (in respect of both the transfer of securities and the transfer of margin).

The UK Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the German Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) recognise the effect of netting provisions for regulatory capital and large exposure requirements provided, inter alia, that a reasoned legal opinion has been obtained to the effect that, in the event of a legal challenge, the relevant courts and administrative authorities would find that, where a counterparty fails owing to default, bankruptcy, liquidation or any other similar circumstance, the regulated firm’s claims and obligations pursuant to the GMRA would be limited to a net sum under the law of the relevant jurisdiction(s), and which meets certain other requirements. The opinions which ICMA makes available to its members assist them in fulfilling these regulatory requirements. It remains the responsibility of each member individually to ensure that it meets its specific regulatory requirements.

Members must ensure that the specific opinions on which they seek to rely extend to their particular circumstances and satisfy themselves as to the strength of the opinions and the effect of the assumptions and qualifications contained therein.

 

Format

The 2019 opinions have been obtained in a combined format, covering the GMRA on the one hand and the GMSLA 2000, the GMSLA 2009 and the GMSLA 2010 (the “GMSLA”) on the other. The 2019 opinions cosist of the following parts: 

(i) core opinion covering both the GMRA as well as the SLAs (the “Core Opinion”);
(ii) specific appendix covering the GMRA (the “GMRA part”); and
(iii) specific appendix covering the SLAs (the “SLAs part”).

 

Availability

ICMA makes available to its members the Core Opinion together with the GMRA part.
 
The Core Opinion together with the SLAs part will be available to ISLA members who are also subscribers to the ISLA Netting Opinions accessed via aosphere LLP's website (www.aoslogin.com). For further information contact ISLA at admin@isla.co.uk.

ICMA members may download the 2012 GMRA legal opinions and, where available, respective blacklines tracking the amendments to the 2011 opinions, by clicking here2. 
A list of the jurisdications covered by the GMRA legal opinions can be found at the bottom of this page.

ICMA members may download the GMRA legal opinions and, where available, respective blacklines tracking the amendments to the previous year's opinions, by clicking here

A list of the jurisdications covered by the GMRA legal opinions can be found at the bottom of this page.

 

1 Whilst associate members of ICMA have access to the ICMA legal opinions, the opinions are not addressed to associate members and therefore they cannot rely on them.

 

List of jurisdictions for the GMRA legal opinions
1. Anguilla

2. Australia

3. Austria

4. Bahamas

5. Bahrain

6. Barbados

7. Belgium

8. Bermuda

9. Brazil

10. British Virgin Islands

11. Canada

12. Cayman Islands

13. China

14. Croatia

15. Curaçao and Sint Maarten

16. Cyprus

17. Czech Republic

18. Denmark

19. England

20. Estonia

21. Finland

22. France

23. Georgia

24. Germany

25. Greece

26. Guernsey

27. Hong Kong

28. Hungary

29. India

30. Indonesia

31. Ireland

32. Israel

33. Italy

34. Japan

35. Jersey

36. Kuwait

37. Latvia

38. Liechtenstein

39. Lithuania

40. Luxembourg

41. Malaysia

42. Malta

43. NEW! Mauritius

44. Mexico

45. Netherlands

46. New Zealand
47. Norway

48. Oman

49. Philippines

50. Poland

51. Portugal

52. Qatar

53. NEW! Romania

54. Russia

55. Scotland

56. Singapore

57. Slovakia

58. Slovenia

59. South Africa

60. South Korea

61. Spain

62. Sweden

63. Switzerland

64. Taiwan

65. Thailand

66. Turkey

67. United Arab Emirates

68. USA