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Intelligence artificielle et automatisation des décisions dans le secteur bancaire et financier : application de la LPD et du RGPD

This article addresses the application of Automated Decision-Making (ADM) in banking and finance, under the revised Swiss Federal Act on Data Protection and the EU’s GDPR. It scrutinizes the legal framework of ADM, particularly considering the European Court of Justice’s interpretation in the SCHUFA Holding AG case, which broadens the scope of “decision” within the GDPR, encompassing actions like credit scoring. The paper highlights the necessity of meaningful human intervention (human in the loop) in automated processes to avoid classification as ADM. It also contrasts the EU’s general prohibition of ADM, subject to exceptions, with Switzerland’s emphasis on informational rights. The discussion extends to the consequences of violating ADM regulations, comparing EU and Swiss approaches. Concluding, the implementation of ADM regulation in Switzerland is seen as being influenced by individual rights exercise, regulatory oversight, and responsiveness to rights infringements.

Revue suisse de droit des affaires et du marché financier, 2024, vol. 96, n° 2, p. 113-126

Les enjeux de la CSRD pour les entreprises suisses

La CSRD (Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive), qui élargit considérablement le champ d’application des entreprises tenues de divulguer des informations en matière de durabilité, a un effet extraterritorial direct et indirect sur les entreprises suisses. La taille n’est pas le seul critère pertinent. Exercer une activité sur le marché de l’UE ou en lien avec des entreprises européennes peut avoir des conséquences (inattendues). Cet impact mondial va de pair avec des exigences de divulgation étendues et granulaires couvrant un spectre plus large de sujets liés à la durabilité, ce qui induit de nouveaux mécanismes de gouvernance d’entreprise. Cet article examine l’effet de la CSRD sur les entreprises suisses ainsi que les enjeux qui en découlent pour ces entreprises.

Revue suisse de droit des affaires et du marché financier, 2023, vol. 95, no. 5, p. 587-602

Les infractions pénales de la loi sur la protection des données

En adoptant la nouvelle loi sur la protection des données (LPD), le législateur a considérablement renforcé les sanctions pénales en cas de violation des règles de protection des données. Cette contribution passe en revue les différentes infractions pénales de la LPD et approfondit certaines questions en lien avec le devoir de discrétion, la communication de données à l’étranger et la détermination de la personne responsable de la violation.

Jusletter du 25 septembre 2023

Le pouvoir du juge d’apprécier le dommage d’investissement (art. 42 al. 2 CO)

L’art. 42 al. 2 CO octroie au tribunal le pouvoir de fixer équitablement le dommage lorsque son montant exact ne peut pas être établi. Cette contribution examine l’application de cette disposition au dommage d’investissement. À l’aune de la jurisprudence récente du Tribunal fédéral, les auteurs développent et critiquent sa mise en œuvre dans la situation tant de l' »hypothèse passive » que du « placement alternatif ». Afin de faciliter la preuve du dommage d’investissement, ils distinguent en particulier le placement alternatif spécifique du placement alternatif générique. Ils concluent en encourageant l’exercice du pouvoir d’appréciation que le législateur a reconnu au tribunal en matière de dommage.

in: Marie-Laure Papaux van Delden, Sylvain Marchand et Frédéric Bernard (éd.), Le juge apprécie : mélanges en l'honneur de Bénédict Foëx. - Genève, Schulthess Edition romande, 2023. - p. 333-343

Le dommage d’investissement et sa preuve

Many civil claims against financial advisers and portfolio managers fail because they do not meet the high threshold set out by Swiss courts for the allegation and proof of the claimant’s loss. This article critically reviews the extensive case law on the topic. We submit that unauthorized financial transactions are distinct from other defective transactions. Following long-established case law on unauthorized fund transfers, an unauthorized financial transaction does not cause a loss to the client ; it merely fails to discharge the custodian’s obligation to keep safe and deliver the relevant financial assets to the client’s order. When the service provided is otherwise defective, the client bears the burden of proving her loss. Case law distinguishes transaction-based and portfolio-based loss assessment. The former applies when discrete defective transactions can be identified. The claimant must generally prove, to the extent of a preponderance of probability, which alternative investment(s) should have been advised or executed. This high hurdle is mitigated by the defendant’s burden to provide specifics when refuting the loss alleged. On the other hand, when the service is overall defective, the courts apply Art. 42 (2) CO to assess the loss at portfolio-level. We offer some fresh thoughts on transaction- and portfolio-based loss assessment.

Revue suisse de droit des affaires et du marché financier, 2023, vol. 95, n° 2, p. 166-181

The Materiality of Sustainability Information under Capital Markets Law

This paper explores the legal concept of the materiality of sustainability-related information under Swiss capital markets law. References to international standards, as well as EU and U.S. provisions, are also made with a view to highlighting the increasing importance of environmental, social and governance (ESG) aspects in the law and regulation of capital markets. We primarily focus on the categories of sustainability information that can be considered financially material, i.e. they have to be made available to investors so that they are able to make informed investment decisions. We assess the potential legal and regulatory consequences of the financial materiality of sustainability-related information under Swiss law. Emphasis is laid on the ad hoc disclosure regime, the prohibition of insider trading as well as the liability for disseminating false and misleading sustainability information.

Revue suisse de droit des affaires et du marché financier, 2023, vol. 95, no. 1, p. 44-59

Under the hood of the draft Swiss trust law

Will trusts soon be part of Swiss private law ? The Swiss government has recently published a draft bill for public consultation. This article presents its main features. It looks in some depth at the legal design of the proposal and how it fits into Switzerland’s civil law system. Neither a contract nor a legal entity, the proposed trust is a separate, ring-fenced fund legally owned by the trustee in the exclusive interest of the beneficiaries. Beneficiaries are protected by a broad set of personal claims against the trustee (and potentially against unprotected third-party acquirers) and by the court’s supervisory jurisdiction.

Trusts & trustees, 2022, vol. 28, n° 9, p. 1-10

Et le prospectus causa un dommage : notre analyse critique d’une situation ambigüe

Dans cet article, Célian Hirsch critique la conception de double causalité retenue dans la responsabilité pour le prospectus (haftungsbegründende Kausalität et haftungsausfüllende Kausalität). L’auteur propose de distinguer la causalité selon le dommage invoqué : le lésé doit soit alléguer l’hypothèse dite de la renonciation à l’achat soit se prévaloir de la moins-value. Dans les deux situations, l’investisseur n’aura ainsi qu’à prouver une seule causalité.

In: Franz Werro et Pascal Pichonnaz (éd.), La RC en arrêts et une nouveauté législative de taille (Colloque du droit de la responsabilité civile, Université de Fribourg, 07.04.2022). - Berne, Stämpfli, 2022. - p. 201-225

Algorithm-driven information gatekeepers : conflicts of interest in the digital platform business models

This chapter of the book edited by Joseph Lee and Aline Darbellay explores the increasing adoption of platform business models in the banking and financial sector. Digital platforms operate in two-sided markets where they deal with both users of content and commercial customers that have diverging interests. This study examines how the law and regulation shall apprehend the related issue of conflicts of interest. It is argued that digital platforms perform a gatekeeping function by playing a role as information intermediaries. Challenges are posed to corporate governance. Amending the legal and regulatory framework is necessary to the extent that existing mechanisms fail to protect important stakeholders that are beneficiaries of information.

in: Joseph Lee and Aline Darbellay (eds), Data governance in AI, FinTech and LegalTech: law and regulation in the financial sector. - Cheltenham, UK, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2022. - p. 79-99

Conclusion to « Data governance in AI, Fintech and Legaltech : law and regulation in the financial sector »

This chapter of the book edited by Joseph Lee and Aline Darbellay provides a summary of the research findings and concludes. In a nutshell, the chapters in this edited book have surveyed the current law and regulation relating to data governance. They have tackled the issues relating to the digital transformation of the financial sector in the broad sense. Accordingly, the authors have developed original insights about financial technologies (FinTech), legal technologies (LegalTech) and insurance technologies (InsurTech). As pointed out in the book, data governance encompasses the process of managing the availability, quality, accuracy, usability and security of data. Whilst data governance is a cross-functional topic, the book has covered it from the perspective of the banking and financial sector. With respect to the technologies, the contributions have laid emphasis on the use of blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data technologies, Machine Learning (ML) and other forms of Artificial Intelligence (AI). The chapters have examined the existing legal and regulatory regimes in several jurisdictions, including the European Union, Japan, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States.

in: Joseph Lee and Aline Darbellay (eds), Data governance in AI, FinTech and LegalTech: law and regulation in the financial sector. - Cheltenham, UK, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2022. - p. 279-288

Kooperation mit Verwaltungsbehörden

Ce chapitre du livre « Interne Untersuchungen » édité par Bazzani, Ferrari-Visca et Nadelhofer traite de la coopération des entreprises avec les autorités administratives fédérales suisses. L’auteur met tout particulièrement l’accent sur les autorités au sein desquelles les enquêtes internes sont pertinentes, comme la FINMA et la Commission de la concurrence (COMCO).

in: Bazzani, Claudio; Ferrari-Visca, Reto; Nadelhofer, Simone (éd.), Interne Untersuchungen : eine umfassende Darstellung der rechtlichen und praktischen Aspekte, inklusive Amts- und Rechtshilfe und Kooperation mit Behörden. - Bâle, Helbing Lichtenhahn, 2022. - p. 487-542

Les cryptomonnaies et le paiement en droit suisse

Bitcoin, ethereum, dai, tether, USD coin, demain peut-être diem… La liste des cryptomonnaies ne cesse de s’allonger. Pour les consommateurs et la plupart des entreprises, leur utilisation est marginale. Même si l’on peut acheter ou vendre les cryptomonnaies les plus répandues dans certains distributeurs et qu’un nombre croissant de banques offrent de conserver les cryptoactifs de leurs clients, les paiements en cryptomonnaies n’appartiennent pas (encore ?) à la réalité quotidienne des consommateurs et des entreprises suisses. Ils n’en existent cependant pas moins et soulèvent des questions juridiques intéressantes que nous allons examiner en quatre parties. Nous commencerons par expliquer la notion de cryptomonnaies et la distinguerons d’autres concepts voisins. Nous qualifierons ensuite ces états de fait au regard des principales règles du droit suisse applicables à la monnaie et aux dettes d’argent. Nous répondrons ensuite aux trois questions centrales de cette contribution : Peut-on régler en cryptomonnaie une dette libellée en francs suisses ? Qu’est-ce qu’une dette libellée en cryptomonnaie et comment peut-elle être acquittée ? Ces analyses seront suivies d’une brève conclusion.

Contribution présentée lors du 7e Symposium en droit des contrats (Fribourg, 10.11.2021)

in: Pascal Pichonnaz et Franz Werro (éd.), La place du consommateur au quotidien – La pratique contractuelle 7 : Symposium en droit des contrats. - Genève, Schulthess Éditions Romandes, 2022. - p. 77-125

Do Robots Rule Wealth Management ? A Brief Legal Analysis of Robo-Advisors

In the latest SZW/RSDA paper, Volume 1 Issue 2022, dedicated to digitalisation and innovation, Célian Hirsch and Nastassia Merlino focus on the legal duties of robo-advisors in Switzerland. They analyse various legal frameworks, from Swiss financial market law, to contract law, and data protection law, whilst comparing these frameworks with European law.

As financial service providers, robo-advisors face regulatory and contractual duties such as establishing a client profile and investment strategy, assessing suitability, and respecting the duty to inform. As robo-advisors can be considered to provide automated individual decision-making in certain cases, they could be faced with data protection duties, such as the duty to implement safeguards or the right to general information and the logic involved in the automated decision making. However, robo-advisors have no obligation to disclose the functioning of their algorithms.

Revue suisse de droit des affaires et du marché financier, 2022, vol. 94, no. 1, p. 33-50

Moral hazard in the export credit industry

This contribution shows that the actions undertaken by export credit agencies (ECAs) and export-import banks (EIBs) have encouraged moral hazard and induced risk-taking behaviors. Section 1 investigates how and why the legal and regulatory frameworks of ECAs and EIBs have contributed to reinforcing moral hazard. In fact, moral hazard results from a combination of the fierce international competition and the information asymmetry between insurers/lenders, exporters, and importers. Section 2 explores the practices of the U.S. Exim Bank in the 1970s. In a context of massive lending to developing countries, this institution refrained from using a reliable country risk rating system and prioritized the foreign borrowers most capable of obtaining preferential treatment from their government. It is not surprising that the percentage of non-performing loans soared during 1975-1982 and undermined the credibility of the U.S. Exim Bank.

In: Juan Flores Zendejas, Norbert Gaillard and Rick Michalek (eds), Moral hazard : a financial, legal, and economic perspective. - Abingdon (UK, Routledge, 2022. - p. 57-79

Responsible lending : export credit agencies as drivers of human rights

This book chapter explores the functions performed by export credit agencies (ECAs) in the international trade and finance sector. Pursuant to international standards, ECAs should foster responsible business conduct abroad. However, national law typically puts export promotion at the forefront of the concerns. The drawback of the strong focus on export promotion is that this approach may leave human rights due diligence and environmental aspects behind. The main argument of this book chapter is that it is not sufficient for national law to make a reference to human rights and the environment as a secondary objective. The risk is that non-financial considerations may be overshadowed by national interests in supporting the competitiveness of the export industry. Therefore, this book chapter concludes that national jurisdictions should adopt binding rules that account for the key role that government-supported ECAs should play as a driving force to the protection of human rights and the environment.

In: Ilias Bantekas and Michael Ashley Stein (eds), Cambridge Companion to Business & Human Rights. - Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2021. - p. 359-379