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PR(04)23: The EFTA Surveillance Authority delivers two reasoned opinions to Liechtenstein in the field of financial services


Yesterday the EFTA Surveillance Authority delivered two reasoned opinions to Liechtenstein in the field of financial services, owing to Liechtenstein’s failure to ensure compliance with the Exchange of Information Directive (2000/64/EC) and the Winding up of Insurance Undertakings Directive (2001/17/EC).

The purpose of the Exchange of Information Directive is to allow the competent supervisory authorities of an EEA State to conclude cooperation agreements with a wider range of competent supervisory authorities or bodies in non-EEA States (third countries), provided that the information disclosed is subject to appropriate guarantees of professional secrecy. Such exchange of information must be intended for the performance of the supervisory tasks of the authorities or bodies in question.  Where the information originates in another EEA State, it may not be disclosed without the express agreement of the competent authorities which have disclosed it, and, where appropriate, solely for the purposes for which those authorities gave their agreement.

Liechtenstein has notified the Directive as partially implemented. An examination of the notified national legislation carried out by the Authority has confirmed that implementing measures regarding several provisions of the Directive are indeed missing.

The Winding up of Insurance Undertakings Directive provides that the opening of reorganisation measures and winding-up proceedings concerning insurance undertakings shall be decided by the competent authorities of the EEA State in which the undertaking is authorised and under that country’s national legislation. The proceedings shall include all branches of the insurance undertaking within the EEA Area. All creditors shall be duly informed and treated without discrimination regardless of in which EEA State they are resident.

Liechtenstein has not notified any national measures to ensure compliance with the Directive.

The purpose of a reasoned opinion is to give the State in question a last chance to take corrective measures before the Authority decides whether to bring the matter before the EFTA Court. In these cases the Authority requests that the Liechtenstein Government takes the necessary measures to comply with the reasoned opinions within three months.


For further information, please contact Mr. Per Andreas Bjørgan, Senior Officer Legal and Executive Affairs, on telephone (+32)(0)2 286 18 36.



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