Auteurs
Andrei Babiy

Andrei Babiy

Associé

Read More
Sharon Kistemaker

Sharon Kistemaker

Collaborateur

Read More
Auteurs
Andrei Babiy

Andrei Babiy

Associé

Read More
Sharon Kistemaker

Sharon Kistemaker

Collaborateur

Read More

8 décembre 2020

Lending focus – December 2020 – 6 de 8 Publications

Non-assignment clauses in Dutch law: the end of the road?

  • Quick read

On 2 June 2020, an act to abolish the practice of contractually agreeing prohibitions/restrictions on the transfer or pledging of receivables – insofar as they have been obtained in the exercise of a profession or business – was submitted to the House of Representatives (the Act).

If the Act is passed by the Dutch Parliament and enters into force, any such contractual clauses will be null and void.

What are the policy objectives?

The Act aims to stimulate the growth and development of smaller businesses.

Smaller businesses commonly assigned or pledged their receivables to a lender, who might then lend them up to 80% of the value of such receivables. This assisted them with raising capital for growth. However, other parties contracting with SMEs have begun to insist on barring such assignments or pledges, making invoice financing a near-impossibility for smaller traders.

The Act will counter this recent practice, making it easier once more for SMEs to raise capital.

Current law

In principle, under Dutch law, the ownership of receivables is transferable, unless the law or the nature of the receivable prevents a transfer. Contracting parties are therefore free to determine the parameters and limitations of such receivables.

Exclusively for receivables, s3:83 paragraph 2 of the Dutch Civil Code (DCC) determines that their transferability can be prohibited contractually. If a contract prohibits the transfer of receivables, then they can neither be transferred nor pledged.

A transfer contrary to such clause will, depending on the exact wording of the clause and its interpretation, result in a default (under contract law) or the non-transferability of the receivable, and thus the invalidity of any attempted transfer or pledge (under property law). 

New law

To stimulate the provision of loans to SMEs, the Dutch legislator intends to amend s3:83 of the DCC. 

The Act states that the transferability or pledging of a business’s receivables can no longer be contractually excluded. Any such clause will be null and void. The expectation is that this will increase the credit potential of borrowers, enabling them to use these receivables as security for their borrowings. 

Any transfer or pledge of receivables arising from a business or profession must be in writing. Furthermore, notification of transfer or pledge to the third party (debtor of the receivable) must also be in writing. These latter requirements are not particularly onerous, since written agreements are the norm in international financing practice.

The amended s3:83 of the DCC will not only apply to new agreements but also to existing ones, as from three months after the Act comes into force. 

Exceptions

The legislator intends to include several exceptions to the new rule. The following receivables are excluded and may therefore still be subject to transferability and pledging restrictions:

  • receivables arising from a current or savings account
  • receivables arising from syndicated loans
  • receivables from or on a clearing institution, centralised counterparty, settlement agent, clearing institution, or central bank, and
  • pecuniary claims which are to be paid on the basis of an agreement as referred to in s34(3), s35(5) or s35a(4) of the Collection of State Taxes Act 1990 into a bank account held for the payment of wage tax, turnover tax and social insurance contributions.

As noted above, receivables arising in the context of syndicated loans concluded on standard LMA documentation will not fall within the scope of the new rule.

Comment

The ability to provide collateral for credit facilities should boost lending sources for SMEs and provide a much-needed stimulus for growth.

Find out more

To discuss any of the issues raised in this article in more detail, please contact a member of our Banking & Finance team.

Call To Action Arrow Image

Latest insights in your inbox

Subscribe to newsletters on topics relevant to you.

Subscribe
Subscribe

Related Insights

netherlands
Banque et finance

New Dutch restructuring legislation: the best of both worlds

8 décembre 2020
Briefing

par Andrei Babiy et Sharon Kistemaker

Cliquer ici pour en savoir plus
netherlands
Banque et finance

Lending against Dutch assets: a safe harbour in turbulent times

17 juin 2020
IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS

par Andrei Babiy

Cliquer ici pour en savoir plus
Banque et finance

Lending Focus - December 2019

10 décembre 2019

par plusieurs auteurs

Cliquer ici pour en savoir plus