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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Equator Principles Financings – Mitigating Potential Legal Risks for Canadian Banks

Alison FitzGerald and Michael Torrance of Norton Rose Fulbright Canada discuss the legal risks for Canadian Financial Institutions associated with the recently revised Equator Principles (“EP”), whose third iteration (“EP III”) took effect on June 4th, 2013. The new EP appears to have caused little stir in the Canadian financial services sector or the legal community that serves it. The muted reaction might lead one to believe that EP III presents no significant legal risks for financial institutions (“FIs”). Alternatively, it may suggest that many of the risks inherent to the EP are poorly understood. This article looks at the EP framework and innovations to this framework adopted in EP III. We consider the potential legal risks presented by EP III for Canadian FIs and their clients, and offer some simple strategies to mitigate these risks.