Amended rules on insurance supervision. The revised Insurance Supervisory Law has been in effect since January 1 2006. The need for further revision has been revealed through lessons learned from the global economic and financial crisis and the introduction of risk-based solvency measuring methods including:
the Swiss Solvency Test;
the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority’s 2011 equivalence test; and
l the Financial Sector Assessment Programme of the International Monetary Fund’s 2013 analysis.
New anti-money laundering rules affect bearer shares in Swiss companies. In 2012 the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) – an inter-governmental body whose member jurisdictions represent the world’s most important financial centres– issued revised recommendations for the fight against money laundering, terrorism funding and other dangers to international financial market integrity.
Nanotechnology – can insurance play a role in regulation? Nanomaterials are often referred to as the key technology of the 21st century. However, the effects of nanoparticles, especially in the long term, are unknown due to a lack of scientific data. This uncertainty represents a major challenge for both the legislature and the insurance industry if they play a role in regulation.
Clawback risks increase for board benefits of privately held Swiss companies. In two appeals the Federal Supreme Court recently clarified, under Article 678(2) of the Code of Obligations, when exactly board members and their close associates and affiliates must return benefits received from a Swiss company because they are manifestly disproportionate to the value of their related performance and the company’s overall economic situation
Supreme Court decides on ambiguous clauses in general insurance terms. The Federal Supreme Court recently issued a decision(1) on the rule of ambiguity in the context of the interpretation of general insurance terms. The court found that a provision which excludes accidents as a result of the deliberate causation of a crime or offence is neither considered unusual nor ambiguous, and can therefore be validly be relied upon by the insurer.
New Federal Supreme Court guidance. On October 16 2014 the Federal Supreme Court decided an appeal (4A_138/2014) against a Zurich Commercial Court decision and clarified important issues under mandatory Swiss company law.
General insurance terms integral to insurance agreement. In a recent decision the Federal Supreme Court held that general terms and conditions can be included in an insurance contract, even if the application makes no reference to the date of the terms and conditions and it remains unclear which version is applicable.
New limitations on cash pooling? Cash pooling is often used within a group of companies for financial management optimization purposes. However, a recent Zurich Commercial Court decision risks jeopardising the use of cash pooling by setting overly onerous standards for the characterisation of an intra-group payment in the
cash pool as a legally permitted intra-group loan.
This essay deals with the question of what reasons would warrant the application of the principle of iura novit curia (referring to the decision-maker’s duty to apply the law without any restrictions to the parties‘ pleadings) in international arbitration and to what extent it should be applied.
Insurance fraud through omission – qualified duty to act required. In a recently published decision the Federal Supreme Court quashed a criminal verdict of the Supreme Court of the Canton of Basel-Country and held that insurance fraud by omission requires a qualified duty of the perpetrator to act.
New rules for asset managers of Swiss professional pension insurances. An amendment to the Professional Pension Insurance Act came into force on January 1 2014. The revised provisions specify new requirements for the management of Swiss professional pension insurance assets.
Prescription period for paid sick day allowance clarified. In an extensive series of cases the Federal Supreme Court has laid out the rules regarding the applicable limitation periods in insurance law.