December 18, 2014
Lower House signs central banks immunity bill into law
The Lower House has approved the bill sent by the Executive to provide legal immunity for assets held by foreign central banks in Argentina by 201 affirmative votes, 8 negatives and 4 abstentions.
The bill was signed into law as it has been already sanctioned by the Senate last July.With the law, Argentine courts extend immunity to foreign central banks on the grounds that “protection is based on the convenience of preserving its monetary and foreign exchange policy.”
The law guarantees immunity as long as there is no expressed written consent by foreign banks to be subject to Argentine jurisdiction.
The head of the Congressional Finance Comission, lawmaker Carlos Heller recalled there was already a law on bank inmunity, but it did not include central banks.
"The new law will be enforced when Argentinean assets in other countries receive the same treatment,” he explained.
Meanwhile, PRO’s lawmaker Federico Sturzenegger criticised the bill, saying it was only drafted to “respond to China’s request,” in reference to the currency swap deal reached with Beijing last month.