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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance

Briefings

Legal Aspects of Bank Bail-Ins

3 May 2011

The aim of the bail-in proposal is that governments should have an alternative option to taxpayer-funded rescues of systemic banks. It operates through a mechanism whereby an insufficiently solvent bank can be returned to balance sheet stability by writing down not only the claims of its subordinated creditors but also some of its senior creditors; converting their claims to equity. To be effective, the mechanism should be “hybrid”, in that the terms of the relevant instruments should provide for the bail-in to operate through private contract, but the power to trigger the bail-in and to determine the extent of write-down and the resulting compensation should be vested in the relevant public authority.

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