Guy Hoffmann, Président de l’ABBL: De l’utilité publique d’écouter les banquiers

Pourquoi prêter une oreille attentive aux banquiers ? Mais oui, pourquoi en fait écouter les propositions aux partis politiques formulées par le secteur bancaire dans le cadre des élections législatives 2023 ?


Jean-Paul Olinger, Directeur de l’UEL: Moderniser le cadre fiscal pour conserver la compétitivité du Grand-Duché

La prospérité future de notre pays dépend de la capacité du Luxembourg à attirer, former et mobiliser les talents de demain.


Jerry Grbic, CEO de l’ABBL: Pérenniser et assurer la compétitivité du secteur bancaire

Face aux défis auxquels ses membres font face, l’ABBL s’engage pour la pérennité et la compétitivité du secteur bancaire luxembourgeois en proposant 6 leviers d’actions au futur gouvernement.


Karin Scholtes, Présidente de la House of Training: Investir dans les compétences du futur à tout âge

Il faut donc non seulement accroître notre productivité si nous voulons maintenir nos standards, mais en plus nous assurer que, dès le départ, les jeunes ont les bonnes compétences pour répondre aux nouveaux besoins du marché.


The ABBL is recruiting: Legal Adviser with focus on labour law (m/f)

The Luxembourg Bankers’ Association (ABBL) represents over 250 banks and professionals of the financial sector, promoting the sustainable development of regulated, innovative, and responsible banking services in Luxembourg


Jerry Grbic, CEO of the ABBL, joins the Board of Directors of the Mutualité de Cautionnement

It's official: on Tuesday 1 August, Jerry Grbic joined the Board of Directors of the Mutualité de Cautionnement. This is excellent news for the organisation, which is strengthening its ties with the banking sector.


ABBL Chairman's Dinner 2023: an inspiring speech by Runa Khan, CEO and founder of the NGO Friendship

The ABBL's Chairman's Dinner took place yesterday. Runa Khan, CEO and Founder of Friendship NGO, gave an inspiring speech on leadership in times of crisis. What are the similarities between the situation of an NGO in Bangladesh and that of banks in Luxembourg when faced with crises? How do you prepare for the unexpected? Here are a few extracts. 


Guy Hoffmann: We have every reason to remain optimistic about the future of banking

Are banks being doomed by the emergence of competitors from the technology sector? This was the question that introduced the ABBL's Chairman's Dinner last night. According to Guy Hoffmann, Chairman of the ABBL, we have every reason to remain optimistic about the future of the banks.  However, in his view, banks need to adapt, in particular by succeeding in their digital transformation, while capitalising on the essential pillar of the banking profession, namely customer confidence. 


ABBL TV show on cooperation between financial institutions and FinTech firms

A great many of you visited the ABBL stand at ICT Spring on 29 and 30 June! We presented the diversity of digital initiatives within the association. Several ABBL members and associates of the ABBL FinTech Circle presented their innovative solutions: Afterdata, Alpha Group, Avaloq, Divizend, Doficy, Jemmic, LuxHub, Quintet Private Bank and VP Bank. On the theme of cooperation between financial institutions and FinTech firms, the ABBL also organised a dedicated TV show during ICT Spring. Representatives from Société Générale Securities Services, BGL BNP Paribas, Jemmic and Finologee took part in the discussion, whose outputs are very interesting at a time when digital is reshaping businesses!


New entrepreneurs: ready to open a professional bank account in Luxembourg?

Opening a business account is a key step in setting up a new business. To simplify the process for new entrepreneurs, we are sharing a brochure dedicated to opening and maintaining a business bank account.


New EU regulations for crypto-asset markets: what impact?

The new EU regulation on the markets in crypto-assets (MiCA), published very recently in June, involves major changes for the financial sector. To help ABBL members assess the impact on their activities, here is a summary of what the rules contained in MiCA cover, supported by a dedicated presentation.


New rules for third-country branches: political agreement reached - a very good news for the financial sector!

The ABBL welcomes the political agreement reached by EU lawmakers on the new rules for Third Country Branches on Tuesday 27 June. Representatives from the European Parliament, the Council and the European Commission struck a political agreement on several key topics of the new banking package implementing the final Basel III standard into EU legislation, i.e. the Capital Requirements Directive (the CRD) and the Capital Requirements Regulation (the CRR).


Access to financial data and payments, digital euro: the EC adopts key proposals for the financial sector

Fresh from the press! On 28 June, the European Commission adopted key proposals for the financial sector: the package on access to financial data and payments, and the package on the digital euro. Find out more about the measures and their objectives.


Digitalisation of Wealth & Asset Management: cooperating with FinTech firms

How do you see collaboration between Wealth & Asset Management financial institutions and FinTechs in the future? The energy was palpable on the premises of Quintet Private Bank on 16 June, as the question was put to professionals from the FinTech and banking space. And this is the purpose of the ABBL FinTech & Innovation Forum: to create connections and promote exchange between banks and FinTech firms. The panel discussion moderated by Giulia Pescatore, Vice-Chair, ABBL FinTech & Innovation Forum provided some interesting insights.


FATF evaluation: the plenary adopts the final report on Luxembourg

The plenary meeting of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has examined and adopted the mutual evaluation report on Luxembourg. This is the final stage of the FATF's evaluation of Luxembourg in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.


ABBL Webinar - Outcomes of the CSSF self-assessment exercise on Climate-related and Environmental Risks

Over 400 participants attended our webinar of 20 June dedicated to the outcomes of the CSSF self-assessment exercise on Climate-related and Environmental Risks, organised in collaboration with the CSSF.


FASTER: European Commission proposal for new rules on withholding tax procedures in the EU

The European Commission has released on 19 June 2023 a proposal for a Council Directive on Faster and Safer Relief of Excess Withholding Taxes (hereafter “FASTER” proposal). The stated aim of this initiative is to make withholding tax procedures with respect to cross-border securities income more efficient and secure for investors, financial intermediaries and national tax authorities. The new rules would introduce new requirements for financial intermediaries acting as Certified financial intermediaries.


New social security framework agreement: really good news?

From 1 July 2023, a new framework for cross-border teleworking will come into force, replacing the transitional period related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This framework, developed in the field of social security, introduces a new declaration requirement for employees engaged in regular teleworking activities residing outside Luxembourg and gives the opportunity to increase the social security threshold to 49%. Employers should be aware that although this framework agreement represents a considerable step forward in the area of telework, the increase to 49% is only applicable under very specific conditions.


Unveiling the revised ESRS: financial sector concerns over missing SFDR and Pillar 3 indicators

The European Commission has recently unveiled the revised version of the European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS). While the updated standards aim to reduce the reporting burden on corporates, they raise concerns within the financial sector. This article delves into the implications of the revised ESRS and their potential impact on sustainable finance.


New EU Regulation on information accompanying fund transfers and crypto-assets

The Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) announced the publication of a significant regulatory update: Regulation (EU) 2023/1113. This new regulation expands the obligations related to the transfer of funds and certain crypto-assets, amending Directive (EU) 2015/849. In this article, we explore the key highlights of the regulation, which now includes crypto-asset service providers (CASPs) in the scope of obligations. Join us as we delve into the implications of this regulation, ensuring transparency and compliance in financial transactions.


Trainee EU Affairs Adviser - ABBL, ACA and ALFI

If you are looking for or know someone who is looking for an internship in the field of EU affairs, this is an opportunity to be seized!


Banking connectivity and payment automation : innovative best practices solutions

On 6 June, the ABBL and ATEL (Association des Trésoriers d'Entreprise à Luxembourg) jointly organised a conference on banking connectivity and payment automation, to identify innovative solutions and best practices. Speakers and panellists representing ATEL, Finologee, LuxHub, JP Morgan, Revantage and 3SMoney had a lively discussion on current innovations and the challenges that continue to exist on both the corporate and banking sides. Here are the key points.


Will the EC proposal for an AML Regulation pave the way to a more harmonised EU AML rulebook?


European Commission proposes controversial new measures to encourage retail investment in the EU.

The adoption of the Retail Investment Package by the European Commission has sparked concerns among industry experts. Whilst the package aims to prioritise consumer interests and strengthen investor protection, critics argue that the prohibition of inducements may have unintended consequences. The ABBL believes it is essential to carefully evaluate the potential impacts of this measure to ensure a balanced approach to retail investing.


ChatGPT and banks in Luxembourg: an opportunity for banks

ChatGPT, opportunity or threat for banks? Do they allow its use by their employees? Discover the results of the survey on the adoption of ChatGPT in banks, carried out among the members of the FinTech and Innovation Forum of the Association des Banques et Banquiers du Luxembourg (ABBL), with the support of Societe Generale.


Conference on DORA: key takeaways 

The ABBL, in collaboration with Schiltz & Schiltz and with the participation of the CSSF, organised an event on the recently adopted Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA). An important topic for the financial services sector, reflected by the more than 120 participants registered! The full presentation is available online for ABBL Members. Here is a summary of the key points.


The future of banking: navigating digital transformation

The ABBL participated in a panel discussion on the future of banking. Here are some of the key topics: The current level of digitalisation of the banking sector and measures to accelerate digital transformation The opportunities of artificial intelligence and distributed ledger technology  The role of neobanks and Big Tech in the competitive landscape The ongoing changes in customers' digital expectations  This round table took place in the context of the Career Opportunity Day organised by ANESEC. Attracting talent and accompanying the digitalisation of banking services are two major objectives for the ABBL and its members. 


The ABBL supports its Members' efforts to build trust in the Luxembourg financial sector

The financial sector faces many challenges: demanding competition and market conditions, ongoing regulatory adaptation and the twin transitions of digitalisation and sustainability, to name but a few. We must continue our efforts to highlight the value of the financial sector to society.


ABBL Responsibility Report 2022: What is the impact of our activities?

What are we doing at the ABBL to improve our approach to corporate social responsibility (CSR)? While the ABBL's annual report provides an overview of our achievements, priorities and activities, it was time to showcase our CSR efforts and their impacts on society, the economy and the environment. To do this, we created a dedicated report outlining our CSR efforts and priorities.


EU aims to strengthen its bank resolution framework

On 18 April 2023, the European Commission has adopted its proposal to strengthen the EU's existing bank crisis management and deposit insurance (CMDI) framework. 


Internship opportunity: Digital, Innovation and Payments Intern (m/f) - up to 6 months

We are currently recruiting a Digital, Innovation and Payments trainee (m/f) – up to 6 months.


Crypto-asset markets (MiCA): a positive impact expected for the crypto-asset sector in Luxembourg

The crypto-asset market has seen several ups and downs, market participants have launched numerous crypto-asset and DLT-based initiatives, and some crypto-asset exchanges have collapsed or been hacked in an unregulated environment with little or no transparency, stability and investor protection. It is therefore great news that the first European legislation governing crypto-assets (MiCA) is expected to be adopted by the European Parliament by 21 April 2023. The objective: beyond the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing, MiCA provides a regulated framework for customer protection, financial market integrity and financial stability.


Generative AI and the financial sector: a hot topic for the first ABBL FinTech & Innovation Forum

The ABBL FinTech & Innovation Forum (FIF) is a platform where ABBL members and FinTechs meet around topics of common interest related to innovation and digital transformation in banking and finance in Luxembourg. The forum currently brings together 140 representatives from 85 entities.  The first meeting focused on the progress of conversational AI, including a pre-trained generative transformer such as ChatGPT, and its impact on the way business is organised. Members explored use cases for generative AI in areas such as innovation, compliance, customer service, finance, marketing and legal practice.  Thanks to the excellent speakers: Augustin GERE (Société Générale Luxembourg), Philippe NOELTNER and Catherine Di LORENZO (Allen & Overy). Following the meeting, the ABBL launched a dedicated survey among its members to explore how conversational AI is used in the Luxembourg financial services sector. 


Luxembourg banks and market tensions: the ABBL's outlook

With market stress and potentially difficult times ahead, what is the banks' line of defence? Jerry Grbic, CEO of the ABBL, answered the question in two interviews with Delano.


Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) - the 2nd edition of the guidelines for Luxembourg is out!

At the request of the Association des Banques et Banquiers, Luxembourg (ABBL), the Association of the Luxembourg Fund Industry (ALFI) and the Association des Companies d’Assurances et de Réassurances (ACA), Stibbe Avocats have updated the SFDR Guidelines for Luxembourg.


Instant payments: our advocacy efforts with the EU institutions

On 26 October 2022, the European Commission proposed a new regulation to make instant payments available throughout the EU. The proposal requires all payment service providers (PSPs) to set up systems that allow their customers to send and receive instant payments. Although this improves the efficiency of payments, the proposal may place an excessive burden on smaller organisations and create potential money laundering risks.


Financial education in Luxembourg: let's sound the alarm!

The situation is alarming: Luxembourg residents under the age of 30 have a very low level of knowledge about personal finances, combined with behaviours and attitudes that are well below the European average. In terms of attitudes towards money, the under-30s are so casual about their budget that they rank 25th out of 26 European countries in terms of attitudes towards their personal finances. The risk of financial vulnerability and over-indebtedness is therefore real for this generation.


Review of the national financial education strategy: key recommendations


D'Woch vun de Suen 2023: what a success!


The challenges of financial education in the 21st century

At a time when it is more important than ever to equip our fellow citizens with the right budget management reflexes, the ABBL Foundation for Financial Education is pursuing its mission to raise awareness about financial education in Luxembourg. In March 2023, the Foundation organised, in collaboration with the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF), a conference dedicated to the challenges of financial education in the 21st century. Finance Minister Yuriko Backes was present. The conference marked the end of the Woch vun de Suen 2023, the Luxembourg "money week". 


Connecting SWIFT and its users: the role of ALMUS and the ABBL

Does the word SWIFT ring a bell? It is the banker's BABA: the SWIFT network acts as an intermediary facilitating the transport of messages containing payment instructions between the financial institutions involved in a transaction. An indispensable part of any bank transfer.


Towards a return of moral hazard?

Despite all the rational reasons which make it difficult to imagine a return to a situation such as we experienced in 2008 and 2009, we have nevertheless seen the emergence of a crisis of confidence, notably because the American and European authorities are sending out different messages about which banks would benefit from their protection as a last resort. Are we not witnessing the return of moral hazard? "Moral hazard" refers to the risks that someone or something becomes more inclined to take because they have reason to believe that someone will cover the costs of any damages.


Credit Suisse/UBS: what possible consequences for employment in Luxembourg?

This is the case for any merger, and it is quite legitimate: the employees concerned are wondering about their professional future. In the case of the takeover of Credit Suisse by UBS, it is far too early to speculate on the consequences for employment.  


Publication of the Blockchain III Law: what will change

On 17 March 2023, the law of 15 March 2023 implementing the EU Regulation 2022/858 on a pilot regime for market infrastructures based on distributed ledger technology (DLT) was published in the Luxembourg Official Gazette: the Law Blockchain III.


Taxation of the banking sector: what priorities?

It's official: Camille Seillès, Secretary General and Member of the ABBL Management Board, is reappointed as Chairman of the European Banking Federation's Fiscal Committee! Here are the top priorities Camille has identified in the field of banking taxation


Launch of a national awareness campaign on sustainable finance

The aim is therefore clear: to make citizens aware that it is possible to make their savings grow while supporting responsible projects that respect ethical, environmental and/or social values.


International Women's Day: 31 ABBL members sign the Women in Finance Charter

It's a success: 31 ABBL members signed the Women in Finance Charter on 8 March, International Women's Day!  Under the patronage of the Minister of Finance, Yuriko Backes, this national charter aims at a more balanced gender representation and the promotion of inclusion in the financial sector in Luxembourg.


10th package of EU sanctions against Russia

As announced by Ursula von der Leyen, the tenth package of sanctions against Russia has been released last weekend in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU)


Ananda Kautz: The digital transformation of banks is accelerating

In an article published by Paperjam, Ananda Kautz, Head of Innovation, Payments & Digital at ABBL, looks at the digital transformation of banking players and their collaboration with fintechs. Here are the key points.


Impacts of EMIR review proposal

As part of the measures in the CMU clearing package, published on 7 December 2022, the ABBL has identified so far 3 impacts for its members.


Bettina Helling joins the ABBL as Digital Banking & Payments Adviser

The ABBL Payments Cluster provides a unique collaboration between stakeholders, allowing for discussion, experience sharing and exchange on key issues.


Jerry Grbic at Avaloq's 15 anniversary

Our CEO highlighted the role of facilitator that the ABBL intends to play between the banking and fintech worlds.


A place where bankers meet FinTech founders (episode 4)

The ABBL begins the New Year with making one of its 2023 resolution a reality – Creating a context for accelerating digitalisation.


ESG risks – time to (re)act for the banking industry!

Climate-related and environmental (CRE) risks remain a major theme of concerns.


DAC 8: proposal for an extension of the scope of the automatic exchange of information to crypto-assets

On 8 December 2022, the European Commission released a proposal for a council Directive amending Directive 2011/16/EU on administrative cooperation in the field of taxation (hereafter “DAC 8”).


Looking back on the ABBL & ALRIM Risk Management Conference

Since 2013, the annual ABBL-ALRIM conference has been designed to provide a platform for exchanges and networking for risk managers in the financial centre


How to keep the lights on next winter: ABBL Energy savings guidelines updated

  The energy crisis fed discussions during family gatherings as much as they worried European policymakers through most of last year.  


A place where bankers meet FinTech founders (episode 3)

The ABBL begins the New Year with making one of its 2023 resolution a reality – Creating a context for accelerating digitalisation.


Is there a need for a new ethos in banking?

That was the question asked to Jerry Grbic, ABBL's CEO at the 2023 Banking Scene Luxembourg Conference. We asked him to come back on the main thread he exposed.


Banking package and depositary rules take major step in the European Parliament

The European Commission’s banking package is meant to transpose the latest Basel agreements into EU law as well as providing new rules on third country branches.


A place where bankers meet FinTech founders (episode 2)

The ABBL begins the New Year with making one of its 2023 resolution a reality – Creating a context for accelerating digitalisation.


New Qualified Intermediary Agreement

On 13 December 2022, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released the final 2023 Qualified Intermediary (QI) Agreement (Revenue Procedure 2022-43).


New ABBL working group to discuss insolvency matters

  The ABBL has launched a new working group to discuss insolvency matters.    


Meet our ABBL, ALFI, ACA European Affairs Brussels Team

In February 2022, the ABBL and the ACA signed a partnership agreement strengthening the collaboration between the two associations.


A place where bankers meet FinTech founders (episode 1)

  The ABBL begins the New Year with making one of its 2023 resolution a reality – Creating a context for accelerating digitalisation.    


Digital operational resilience regulation has entered into force

  Increased digitalisation and interconnectedness of national economies including everyday activities can amplify ICT risk, making society as a whole, and the financial system in particular, more vulnerable to cyber threats or ICT disruptions.  


ABBL Guidance on inactive accounts - Update

This guidance document is designed to help ABBL members to comply with their respective legal and regulatory obligations.


The EBA revised roadmap on Sustainable Finance is out

On 13 December last year, the European Banking Authority (EBA) published its roadmap on Sustainable Finance.


CESOP: new reporting obligations for PSPs

CESOP, a new European database, stands for Central Electronic System of Payment information and is part of the legislative package adopted by the European Commission to combat VAT fraud.    


New ABBL workshop on responsible finance

At the ABBL, financial education is one of the cornerstones to our corporate social responsibility strategy. We have long been advocating for a better integration of finance in the public education system.


2 469 money mules arrested in worldwide crackdown against money laundering

Law enforcement prevented €17.5 million from being laundered by money mules in three-month action.    


TNT Symposium 2022 focusing on “Human.First” - interview with Jerry Grbic

Jerry Grbic, ABBL's CEO, spoke at the TNT Symposium: Human First about the link between innovation and trust. Here's an interview about this topic, for those of you who might have missed his speech.  


EBA guidelines on the use of Remote Customer Onboarding Solutions

The EBA has published guidelines on the use of remote customer onboarding solutions.


First Survey on the Luxembourg Depositary & Custodian Banking industries

In order to gain a better understanding of the Depositary and Custodian Banking sector in Luxembourg, the ABBL has launched a first national survey on these industries.


Raising public awareness of sustainable finance on RTL channels

Faced with the public’s demand to provide more information on the main concepts and issues of sustainable finance, the ABBL Foundation for Financial Education and the CSSF are joining forces as part of an awareness raising initiative on RTL channels from 22 November 2023 to May 2023.  


CJEU judgment of 22 November invalidating the provision of the Anti-Money Laundering Directive

The Court of Justice of the European Union released on 22 November its judgement re. joined cases C-37/20 and the C-601/20, both involving the Luxembourg Business Register.  


ESAs Call for evidence on better understanding greenwashing

On 15 November, the ESAs published a call for evidence on greenwashing to gather input from stakeholders.


Should we be worried about the ESAs’ delay in the delivery of its mandate to review the Principal Adverse impact Indicators (PAIs)?

The ESAs will not be able to meet the original deadline of 28 April 2023 for delivering its mandate to review the principal adverse impact indicators and financial product disclosures in the SFDR Delegated Regulation.


ENISA publishes its 2022 Threat Landscape

The European Union Agency for Cybersecurity, ENISA, is the Union’s agency dedicated to achieving a high common level of cybersecurity across Europe.


EU Parliament: final vote on DORA

The European Parliament has supported the Digital operational resilience act (DORA).


ESG risks – time for banks to practice what Central Banks preach

The growing importance of climate-related and environmental (CRE) risks for the banking sector calls for quick actions by financial institutions and supervisory authorities.  


Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive

On 14 November 2022, the European Parliament adopted the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD).


Greenpeace Report: Findings to be reviewed

Presentation of the Greenpeace report "Climate-friendly investments - An advisory check at Luxembourg banks - Results and implications of a mystery shopping"  


Instant Payments to become a “new normal”

On 26 October 2022, the European Commission has published its legislative proposal on instant payments as amendments of the SEPA regulation and Cross-border payments codification regulation.  


Results of the 15th ABBL/CSSF Private Banking Survey

The ABBL Private Banking Group Luxembourg (PBGL) presented today the results of its annual Private Banking Survey for 2021 conducted in collaboration with the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF) and KPMG Luxembourg.


LuxFLAG Sustainable Investment Week 2022

On Monday 17 october, the ABBL was pleased to participate to the LuxFLAG Sustainable Investment Week 2022.


Stability of the Retail Banking Sector in 2021

In a context that continued to be marked by the aftermath of the pandemic and by a low interest rate environment, the retail banking sector in 2021 was in line with the previous year, as shown by the survey conducted jointly by the ABBL and the CSSF.


Takeaways from the Luxembourg budget 2023

On 12 October 2022, Finance Minister Yuriko Backes presented the budget bill for 2023, the last budget under the current legislature.


New transparency framework for crypto-assets and CRS amendments

The OECD has delivered on 10 October 2022 a new global tax transparency framework to provide for the exchange of information with respect to crypto-assets (CARF).


Lessons from the Covid-19 pandemic

The Economic and Social Council (ESC) has released its annual report on the country’s economic, financial and social situation.


The ABBL – Founding member of the High Committee for Digital Transformation

Faced with the challenges of interoperability in the digital sector, the Luxembourg Bankers' Association (ABBL) is taking an active part in the transversal dynamic set up by the government by participating, on 28 September, in the Constituent Assembly of the High Committee for Digital Transformation.  


15th Anniversary of the Private Banking Group, Luxembourg (PBGL) of the ABBL

On 29 September 2022, the Private Banking Group, Luxembourg (PBGL) celebrated its 15th Anniversary.


Implementation of the EU DLT Pilot Regime: ABBL opinion released

On 29 September 2022, the ABBL has released its opinion on the draft law N°8055 (the “Draft Law Blockchain III”) implementing the EU Regulation 2022/858 on a pilot regime for market infrastructures based on distributed ledger technology (“DLT”).  


European Digital Identity framework

The European Commission proposal published in June 2021 amends the existing eIDAS Regulation and introduces a new European Digital Identity Wallet.


The ABBL is recruiting: Adviser in Payments and Digital Banking (m/f)

The Luxembourg Bankers’ Association (ABBL) represents over 220 banks and professionals of the financial sector, promoting the sustainable development of regulated, innovative, and responsible banking services in Luxembourg  


Results of a general public survey conducted in Luxembourg on sustainable finance

Given the challenges surrounding the development of sustainable finance, the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF), the Fondation ABBL pour l’éducation financière (ABBL Foundation) and the Luxembourg Sustainable Finance Initiative (LSFI) mandated ILRES to conduct a survey in order to better assess the perception and knowledge of Luxembourg households in this area.


AML/ CFT: The ABBL, the CRF and the CSSF sign a public-private partnership

In order to further strengthen their collaboration in the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism, the Luxembourg Bankers’ Association (ABBL), the Cellule de Renseignement Financier (CRF) and the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF) have signed a Public Private Partnership on 13 September 2022.


The ABBL is committed towards the prevention of human trafficking

On July 29, 2022, at the occasion of the United Nations World Day against Trafficking in Person, the ABBL released a leaflet (both available in English and Ukrainian).


Launch of the State-guaranteed loan scheme for the Luxembourg economy in the context of the war in Ukraine

  On 27 July 2022, Finance Minister Yuriko Backes signed an agreement with representatives of the banks BCEE, BIL, BGL BNP Paribas, Banque de Luxembourg, Raiffeisen and ING, and in the presence of Guy Hoffmann, President of the ABBL, framing the State-guaranteed loan scheme set up by the law of 15 July 2022 in favour of the Luxembourg economy in the context of the war in Ukraine.  


PSD2 EU Consultation - ABBL response

In May 2022, the European Commission launched a consultation on the review of Payment Services Directive. The ABBL has worked with its members on a common response.


Where do Luxembourg banks stand regarding cloud computing?

ABBL and KPMG Luxembourg recently held a conference to release and discuss findings of the second edition of the survey on cloud computing adoption in the financial sector of Luxembourg. 


CSSF circular on outsourcing arrangements: recap of the answers to ABBL members' questions

Following the publication of CSSF Circular 22/806 on the implementation of the European Banking Authority (EBA) guidelines on outsourcing arrangements, the ABBL and the CSSF organised a question and answer session on 8 June, which was attended by more than 800 ABBL members. Here is a summary of the answers given by the supervisor to the questions asked by the ABBL members.


Digital Euro consultation: ABBL response

In April 2022, the European Commission launched a targeted consultation on a digital euro. The objective: to gather information on the expected impacts of the digital euro on key industries, users, chambers of commerce and other stakeholders in international trade. The ABBL, which also participated in the ECB's 2021 consultation on this topic, has submitted its response to the EC and provided comments to the European Banking Federation. Here are the key points.


Banking Union, Sanctions, Basel and AML: Commissioner McGuinness faces MEPs

Mairead McGuinness joined the members of the ECON Committee for her first full hearing of 2022. 


Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation gains momentum

The SFDR has been in the spotlight in recent weeks, with three notable statements and briefings published at European level.


Consultation on Open Finance: defending the financial sector's position to the European Commission

The European Commission has launched a consultation on Open Finance, for which the ABBL is working with its members to define a common position and give a better understanding of the impacts of the future implementation.


New restrictive measures against Russia and Belarus: ABBL technical note

The sixth package of restrictive measures against Russia and Belarus has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The ABBL has therefore published its technical note summarising the novelties within the five latest (EU) Council Regulations, with all relevant parts for the financial sector.


Hackathon 'Smart Banks For Life' - Want to be a mentor?

Come and coach the students of the Luxembourg Tech School, during a hackathon where they will use their ideas and energy to design the banks of the future!


Sustainable finance: latest developments and proposals

While the G7 countries recently committed to largely eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from their energy sectors by 2035, the EU is struggling to agree on an extension of the European taxonomy and its criteria to nuclear power and natural gas. The following proposals and developments will certainly keep sustainability at the heart of the debate.


CSSF Circular on Outsourcing Arrangements: What does it bring to the financial industry in Luxembourg?


Sustainable finance: new tools for disclosure

The Sustainable Finance Platform has published a new report on the Technical Selection Criteria (TSC) for the four remaining environmental objectives. While these criteria do not bind the European Commission to any decision, it is nevertheless required (Articles 12-15 of the Taxonomy Regulation) to adopt a delegated act establishing STCs for these objectives, which may follow those established by the Sustainable Finance Platform. The EC has therefore adopted, by way of a delegated regulation, the Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) on information to be disclosed by financial market participants subject to the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR).   


Sharing cyber information via the ABBL: why it is critical

With increasing digitalisation, cyber threats are multiplying and do not spare the financial sector. The best weapon: sharing information about these cyber threats. Incidents, vulnerabilities, mitigation measures, prevention and detection solutions... Sharing knowledge is key to preserving the sector's cyber security.


The ABBL and its team mobilise for Ukraine 

In response to the situation in Ukraine, the ABBL organised a fundraising campaign among its team and doubled the amount collected from the staff. The final sum amounts to 8420 euros, which will go to the benefit of Médecins Sans Frontières and the Luxembourg Red Cross. Thank you to the whole team for this show of solidarity!


Ukrainian refugees: what proof of identity for client onboarding purposes?

With the arrival of Ukrainian refugees in Luxembourg, the question arises for credit institutions of what identification documents to use for KYC purposes when opening a bank account for these refugees. In the absence of an ID card or passport, can the Certificate of Temporary Protection Beneficiary serve as valid proof of identity for credit institutions to perform their due diligence? And, if so, what address should be used, and what tax residence, to perform the necessary due diligence?   The ABBL has asked the CSSF this question, and here is a summary of the formal response.


Exchange of views on the progress regarding the digital euro

Preferences are shifting when we talk about means of payment. The pandemic and, recently, the war on Ukraine, accelerated the digital transition and economic independence in Europe. Since January 2020, the ECB has been moving forward in its project to create a Central Bank Digital Currency – the digital euro.


Interoperability of payment systems

The EU payments market remains fragmented. While many digital payment solutions exist in Europe, most of them, if not from large non-European players, cannot be used across Europe for in-store and e-commerce payments. 


Consultation on a standardised assessment for retail investors: why we think it is not a good idea

Following the EC's consultation on a standardised retail investor assessment regime, the ABBL expresses in a position paper its arguments against this new type of assessment.


The sustainable finance journey: filling the gaps

We are now at a key stage in the sustainable finance journey, where gaps are gradually being filled at three levels: 1. European taxonomy: extending the classification and scope - new challenges and opportunities are emerging, which are being analysed by the ABBL Taxonomy and Labels working group 2. Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence: Proposal for a Directive - The ABBL is collecting comments from its members and coordinating with other associations to identify concerns and suggestions to share with the Commission 3. Convergence of information frameworks and disclosure rules - what this means for transparency and harmonisation


New AML package: experts' views at the public hearing

At the joint meeting of the ECON and LIBE Committees of the European Parliament, Members of the European Parliament had a second public hearing on the new anti-money laundering legislative proposals with leading experts.


The ABBL is recruiting: a Communication Officer (m/f) – Fixed-term (CDD - 1 year)


Russia-Ukraine war: what consequences for the European banking system? The case of Sberbank Europe AG


FATF Plenary Meeting: key points

Read the key points from the plenary meeting, including an update on the list of jurisdictions with strategic AML/CFT deficiencies, as well as current and upcoming policy initiatives.  


Sustainable finance - what's new?

If you were expecting that 2022 would be less intense than the past 18 months with regards to sustainable finance, the “tour d’horizon” which follows will convince you it won’t be.


Business registry reforms: coming changes

The legislator foresees to amend the Law of 13 January 2019 establishing the Beneficial Owner Register (BO Law), which will allow financial actors to potentially benefit from increased quality and accessibility of beneficial ownership information, including for due diligence purposes.


Publication of the Vertical Risk Assessment on money laundering and terrorist financing linked to legal persons and arrangements


Equivalence of UK central counterparties (CCPs) until June 2025

Central clearing is essential for financial stability: it reduces systemic risk in the financial sector and increases market transparency.


CMU action 7 – Empowering citizens through financial literacy, what’s new?

As part of the CMU action plan published in September 2020, the European Commission committed to work on a joint EU/OECD financial competence frameworks for adults and youth.


Digital Onboarding & Electronic Signature Survey


SEPA Payment Account Access (SPAA)

The European Payments Council (EPC) has taken on the role of scheme manager for the SEPA API Access scheme in relation to payment accounts.


Directive on credit services providers and credit purchasers: opportunities for banks

Directive 2021/2167 of 24 November 2021 on credit servicers and credit purchasers was finally published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 8 December 2021. This directive aims to create a secondary market for non-performing loans (NPLs), so that banks can deal with them on their balance sheets and thus reduce the risk of future NPL accumulation.


Sustainable finance: latest developments and ABBL's scope of action

In this new article by Julien Froumouth, Sustainable Finance Adviser at the ABBL, find out about the latest green waves in sustainable finance.


#ImpfeWierkt: Joint campaign on vaccination


European Single Access Point (ESAP)

In the context of fragmented and complex access to financial-related information, of the need to create new investment opportunities for investors and of building ESG-based data at EU level, the European Commission has made a proposal to address the identified shortcomings. Last month, the Commission adopted a package of legislative proposals on a familiar project– the Capital Markets Union (CMU). One of the legislative blocs adopted in the context of CMU package was the European Single Access Point (ESAP).


Capital Markets Union progress

Following up on its 2020 Capital Markets Union Action Plan, last week the European Commission published a further CMU package consisting mostly of legislative proposals reviewing the AIFMD and ELTIF regulation as well as modifications to MiFID/R and the creation of a European Single Access Point for market data. Given the importance of investment funds and depositary banking for the local financial centre, this article focuses primarily on the AIFMD and ELTIF revisions.


The banker 2.0: what challenges for professional training?

We are witnessing a global shift in skills: according to several converging studies, around 10% to 20% of jobs are threatened with disappearance by the automation of tasks brought about by robotisation or digital technology. At least as many will be created, and 50% will be profoundly transformed in the next ten years. The same is true in the banking sector, where, as the world changes, jobs adapt and transform.


COP26: The banks' path to a 1.5°C target

The long-awaited COP26 ended with the adoption of the Glasgow Climate Pact, which calls on national governments to step up their respective contributions in 2022, providing a narrow window of opportunity to limit global warming to 1.5°C. The financial sector was also in the spotlight at COP26, with three highlights.


Remuneration policies: key points

With the transposition of the Capital Requirements Directive (CRD5) expected by the end of this year, the ABBL organised a conference on 15 November on the impact of the directive on remuneration policies. Experts from the ABBL were joined by panelists from the CSSF, Allen & Overy and KPMG.


Request to pay: strategic and technical aspects

Request to Pay is a messaging functionality whereby a payee can initiate a payment request to the payer, who receives a message with the requested amount and due date. Request to Pay solutions are evolving, and changes to the SEPA Request to Pay (SRTP) Rulebook of the European Payments Council (EPC) are planned. These changes are expected to be published in November 2021, with implementation in 2022.


Capital requirements : Basel III and more

It was finalised in December 2017, but when the Basel agreement took its first milestone in the transposition into EU law last week (27 October 2021), it was already a year behind the original schedule. Indeed, COVID is the culprit as many readers would have guessed.


MIFID II Recast: practical implementation summary

The MIFID Directive is undergoing a major overhaul, in two steps: Step 1: A quick fix initiative with (smaller) changes related to COVID-19 Step 2: A broader recast which is currently being planned by the European Commission. The ABBL and Arendt & Medernach jointly organised a webinar on this topic, in order to discuss the background of the regulatory change and to provide a practitioner’s perspective.


Open banking: where do we stand?

The last ABBL FinTech and Innovation Forum, which brings together ABBL members and innovative solution providers, focused on open banking. This term, which emerged during the drafting of the revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2), refers to an open banking system, allowing the sharing of customer financial information and data held by the bank with third parties through application programming interfaces (APIs). This data sharing allows FinTechs to offer additional services for the benefit of account users.


Quantum computing: how to prepare?

Quantum computing will profoundly transform many sectors, including banking and payments. This implies many challenges, especially in terms of security: public key algorithms can be easily broken by a sufficiently powerful quantum computer, and hackers are probably busy preparing for the future by collecting encrypted data.


Taxation - further details agreed on a Two-Pillar reform of international tax rules

On 8 October 2021, 136 countries and jurisdictions, including all OECD and G20 countries and all EU Member States, agreed to the final framework for a Two-Pillar Solution to Address the Tax Challenges Arising from the Digitalisation of the Economy.


EBA 2022 Work Programme

October is traditionally work programme season for the EU institutions and agencies. After ESMA earlier this month, the European Banking Authority (EBA) last week released its Annual Work Programme for the upcoming year. The programme is structured through vertical and horizontal priorities, that will guide the further work of the organisation.


Launch of European Cyber Security Month: raising awareness of cyber threats

The month of October marks European Cyber Security Month across the European Union, through an awareness-raising campaign organised by the European Cyber Security Agency (ENISA), the European Commission and the Member States, including the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Under the slogan Think Before You Click – #ThinkB4UClick, the campaign illustrates, through real-life stories, animated clips and infographics, both pitfalls and good practices for our online activities.


Marilyn Rinck joins the ABBL as Financial Markets Adviser

Marilyn Rinck joined the ABBL in October 2021 as Financial Markets Adviser, where she will support members by contributing to technical work in relation to the depositary and custody banking industry in Luxembourg.


European Sustainable Development Week: the ABBL and its members commit daily to a more sustainable future


Verena Ross, the new Chair of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)

Verena Ross has been appointed as the new Chair of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA). After months of deadlock in the Council on the selection of the next ESMA Chair, Verena Ross has finally triumphed. Other candidates for the post were Portuguese Maria Luis Albuquerque, former Finance Minister of Portugal, and Italian Carmine di Noia, Commissioner of CONSOB (Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa). Carmine di Noia was the main rival in the race and the blockage in the Council was mainly due to what appeared to be differences between the German and Italian leaning groups of Member States.


De-risking: the limits of AML/CFT rules on financial inclusion?

The legal framework for combating money laundering and terrorist financing may eventually lead to a decision by financial actors to de-risk. This observation follows recent concerns at the European level, including those raised by the European Banking Authority regarding de-risking practices in three position papers published in March 2021, as well as the launch by the FATF of a new project in February 2021 to study the unintended consequences of incorrect implementation of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) standards.


Ech kann dat och: online banking for all, focus on senior citizens

Given the rapidly changing financial sector, the Ministry of Consumer Protection proposed to initiate an e-banking training programme in collaboration with the CSSF and the Fondation ABBL pour l’éducation financière. This initiative was all the more relevant as the ABBL was informed by the retail banks of the obstacles faced by senior citizens in using online platforms. While bank agents are attentive to their older customers and provide them with guidance on how to use their online platform, a dedicated online banking course was still missing.


Galina Miroshnichenko joins the ABBL as Digital Banking and Payments Adviser

The digital transformation of our society is accelerating, and payment services are playing an increasingly important role, directly enabling this evolution. The role of the ABBL is to help its members address the challenges related to the urgent need for digital development and innovation, in order to be competitive, while ensuring compliance with complex regulations. The ABBL Payments Cluster provides a unique collaboration between stakeholders, allowing for discussion, experience sharing and exchange on key issues.


The EU draft AML package : an attempt at further harmonisation in Europe

While the legislative proposals aim to harmonise certain fundamental principles of the current AML/CFT framework, they also seek to address the shortcomings identified in recent years, notably by strengthening communication and coordination between the private sector and public authorities. To this end, the European Commission has chosen a directly applicable European regulation to govern certain key AML/CFT professional obligations for all obliged entities in the European Union.


Post-COVID: Reminder of the current rules

In order to support its members in this post-COVID period, ABBL legal experts have made an inventory of the rules in force.


Results of the ABBL/CSSF Retail and Private Banking Surveys 2021

The ABBL has just received the results of our annual Retail Banking Survey and our Private Banking Survey, collecting information from our members active in those sectors, in collaboration with the CSSF. As always, these surveys provide a unique insight into the health of the banking sector in Luxembourg.


Digitalisation of the economy and taxation: towards international tax reform

More than 130 countries and jurisdictions have endorsed the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Declaration of 1 July 2021 on a two-pillar reform plan to address the tax challenges raised by the digitalisation of the economy and the globalisation process.


Revision of the Consumer Credit Directive

On 30 June 2021, the European Commission (EC) adopted a proposal for the revision of the Consumer Credit Directive. The latter was adopted in 2008 and, after several reports on its implementation over the last years, the EC has decided to adapt this piece of legislation to the digital transformations and the new market players, but also to the more recent EU legislation such as the GDPR and the Mortgage Credit Directive.


The Luxembourg Tech School Hackathon: and the winners are... 

High school students from the Luxembourg Tech School (LTS) joined forces in a hackathon to get older people on board with digitalisation.


Climate and ESG risks: the next big challenge for the banking sector

Climate and environmental risks could lead to significant financial losses and, as with other types of risk, need to be integrated into banks’ risk management. 


Conference on post-crisis teleworking: key take-aways

At last week’s post-Covid teleworking conference, renowned local experts shared their knowledge in their field with ABBL members.


The Cost of Regulation: 2020 ABBL and EY study

The ABBL and EY have just published a study on the Cost of Regulation. The main conclusions of this study, covering about ten different regulations, are:


What the Commission has in store for the banks by the end of the year

Crisis management and depositary insurance, AIFMD review, supervisory convergence… Over the last few months, the European Commission has been busy with quite a number of consultations, conferences with stakeholders and the like. The ABBL and its members have been putting in extra hours to produce quality input and help the legislator tackle sometimes complex issues.


End-of-year fund inventory process: practical guide ABBL

At the end of the fund’s financial year, fund depositaries are required to provide a complete inventory statement of assets. This obligation, defined in CSSF circulars 16/644 and 18/697, comes in addition to the requirements of the 2010 Law and the AIFMD Framework, as well as the Luxembourg audit confirmation process, whereby the fund’s auditors request certain information directly from the fund’s depositary.


Signature of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement for banks

In excellent news for the banking sector, the Collective Bargaining Agreement was signed on Thursday 10 June. It will cover the years 2021 to 2023. The negotiations succeeded in taking into account the interests of all parties, resulting in an agreement beneficial to both the enterprises in the banking sector and their employees.


Towards an EU digital identity wallet for all

On 3 June, the European Commission proposed a framework for a European Digital Identity which will be available to all EU citizens, residents, and businesses in the EU. The Commission builds on the existing cross-border legal framework for trusted digital identities, the European electronic identification and trust services initiative (eIDAS Regulation). Adopted in 2014, it provides the basis for cross-border electronic identification, authentication and website certification within the EU.


Consultation on EU supervisory convergence and the single rulebook

As part of the Capital Markets Union (CMU) Action Plan, the European Commission has launched a consultation on the supervisory convergence and the single rulebook. In this article, we present the background to this consultation, as well as our detailed position as the ABBL on the most important aspects.


EBF recommendations for a fairer and more efficient European tax framework

On 20 May 2021, the European Banking Federation (EBF) published an action plan for a fairer and more efficient European tax framework. The report, which follows the European Commission’s Communication on Business Taxation in the 21st Century, contains 10 concrete policy recommendations around the following four pillars:


Diversity Awards honours Fondation ABBL pour l'éducation financière for the Zuumer Academy


Focus on EU diversity policies

As the European Commission has launched a European Diversity month on 3 May, the ABBL Brussels office thought it would be a good opportunity to look at what the EU and in particular the European Commission is doing in that respect.


An EU retail investment strategy – What's on the cards?

As part of its Capital Markets Union action plan (CMU), the European Commission wants to develop policies to increase retail investors participation in EU capital markets. The Commission is working on several policies to reach this goal and will publish a retail investment strategy for the first half of 2022. On 11 May, the European Commission published a public consultation to gather views and evidence from stakeholders to shape its policies. The Commission is focusing on the legal framework for retail investment, in particular UCITS, PRIIPs, MiFID II, IDD, PEPP and Solvency II, and wants to find out whether it is coherent, is it adapted to the profile and needs of retail investors?


The rocky relationship between FinTechs and Banks: what are the challenges?

The world of FinTechs in Luxembourg has seen robust development over the last few years. Since the discovery of the “FinTech” concept by the public at large and the first inventory of the market carried out by Luxembourg for Finance (LFF) in 2015, Luxembourg has gradually become home to more than 200 FinTechs (including RegTechs, InsureTechs, firms adopting distributed ledger technology – DLT, and the ones related to crypto assets), which now form what can be called an ecosystem.


Secondary market for non-performing loans (NPLs): a directive in the near future?

The draft Directive on the secondary market for non-performing loans (NPLs) aims to develop a secondary market for credit agreements initially issued by banks and qualified as non-performing.


The make or break moment for sustainable finance

Last week was an exciting one for sustainable finance, starting on Wednesday with the adoption of the EU Climate Law by the Council and the European Parliament. This law turns the objectives of the European Green Deal into legal obligations: by 2030, the EU’s net greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced by at least 55% compared to 1990 levels, and by 2050 the EU must reach climate neutrality.


eID or Electronic Identification: a major opportunity for banks

Electronic Identification (eID) offers numerous possibilities, as shown in the following scenario: as a bank based in Luxembourg, a customer wants to use your portfolio management services. Using the customer’s digital identity, you as a bank are able to verify the customer’s identity and perform all due diligence checks. You then send and receive the contract signed electronically by the customer and yourself.


ABBL 2020 Annual Report

The ABBL 2020 Annual Report provides a detailed overview of our priorities and activities over the last year, and a look forward to the year ahead. 


Digital finance package in the European Parliament: innovation and challenges

On 14 April the ECON Committee met for a joint debate on the digital finance package. During the debate, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) discussed the three draft reports prepared by rapporteurs on the pilot regime for market infrastructures based on distributed ledger technology (DLT), Markets in Crypto-assets (MiCA) and Digital operational resilience for the financial sector (DORA). The discussion focused on issues like the lack of clear definitions, fragmented supervision in the EU, the environmental impact of crypto currencies and their link to illegal activities.


Prepping the future : a pilot regime for market infrastructures based on DLT

The EC proposal 2020/0267 (COD) on a pilot regime for market infrastructures based on distributed ledger technology introduces the possibility for certain types of EU financial market participants to operate a market infrastructure (MI) based on distributed ledger technology (DLT) with clear and uniform requirements. The aim of the European Commission is to remove regulatory hurdles to issuance, trading and post-trading of financial instruments in crypto-asset form. The proposed text provides for a so-called “pilot regime” for interested stakeholders to gain experience on the use of DLT for MIs, by making use of temporary derogations from existing rules.


The ABBL marks its commitment to gender equality and women's empowerment