Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has advised the Prüfungsverband deutscher Banken e.V., PV (Auditing Association of German Banks) on its audit related to the admission of HSH Nordbank AG as member of the Auditing Association. Membership in the Auditing Association of German Banks is one condition, amongst others, for participation in the Einlagensicherungsfonds deutscher Banken (Deposit Protection Fund of German Banks) which has been established by the Bundesverband deutscher Banken e.V., BdB (Association of German Private Banks) and is one of the decisive factors for revising the affiliation of HSH Nordbank to a deposit protection scheme following the withdrawal of the bank from the deposit guarantee scheme of the Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe (Savings Banks Finance Group) in connection with its privatisation.
On November 5, 2018, BdB announced its decision to allow HSH Nordbank to participate in the Deposit Protection Fund as of 2022. The Auditing Association will monitor the bank in the three-year transition period. The Deposit Protection Fund protects depositors from losses in a financial crisis. HSH Nordbank will remain a member of the Institutional Protection Scheme of the umbrella organisation Deutscher Sparkassen- und Giroverband e.V., DSGV (German Savings Banks Association) of the Savings Banks Finance Group, which is funded by the regional savings banks associations together with the Landesbanken, until the end of 2021. By reaching this agreement, the breakthrough in the privatisation of HSH Nordbank has been achieved. Following a decision of the European Commission, Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein had to sell HSH Nordbank to a group of investors led by Cerberus and J.C. Flowers. Changing the deposit protection scheme represented the biggest remaining hurdle in this context. However, the completion of the bank‘s privatisation still needs to be approved by the EU and the German Banking Supervisory Authority.
Norton Rose Fulbright advised the Auditing Association on M&A, banking, and dispute resolution issues covering several jurisdictions.
The Norton Rose Fulbright team was led by Dr. Katrin Stieß and included corporate and M&A partners Nils Rahlf (Frankfurt) and Frank Henkel (Munich), senior associate Johannes Diez, and associates Dimitri Schaff, Jürgen Schlinkmann, Alexander Mathes, Aurelius Haag (all Munich) and Andre Hartmann (Frankfurt). Litigation advice was provided by partners Jamie Nowak (Munich), Dr. Christian Wolf (Frankfurt), Matthew Waudby and Michael Godden (both London), senior associates Steffen Averwald, George Stanka (both Munich) and Samson Spanier (London) as well as associates Dr. Nikolaus Wank (Munich) and Thorben Schläfer (Frankfurt). The banking team advising the Auditing Association comprised Frankurt-based partner Dr. Oliver Sutter, of counsel Dr. Christian Bauer (Munich), senior associate Dr. Bernhard Fiedler and associate Stefanie Baier (both Frankfurt). Partner Tino Duttiné (Frankfurt) and associate Judith Kutter (Hamburg) advised on tax-law related matters, and Frankfurt-based partner Dr. Martin Krause covered issues relating to supervisory law. Of counsel Dr. Felix Dinger (Hamburg) advised on public law and Brussels based partner Michael Jürgen Werner advised on aid law.
Dr. Katrin Stieß, partner at Norton Rose Fulbright, commented:
“We are very pleased to have assisted the Auditing Association with this matter. HSH Nordbank’s transition from a deposit protection scheme regulated by public law to a privately regulated scheme was a pioneering move, reflecting the significant efforts of all involved.”
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