Pierre de Gioia Carabellese

Bridge Bank (and Bail-in) in the Banco Espírito Santo Decisum of the UK Supreme Court: From the Bonus Argentarius to the Coactus Argentarius

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The BRRD has made its debut five years ago, yet this controversial and much debated piece of legislation has already played havoc non only in the finance «global village» but also in the international community of jurists. Its more than persuasive powers conferred on the administrative bodies, viz the resolution authorities, as regards the cancellation and/or write down of liabilities, has been food for thought in the debates across Europe since its promulgation. In this paper the «hot patato» of the write down is examined juxtaposed against one of the four resolution tools, in this case the bridge bank, rather than the notorious «sister» tool, the bail-in. Against this back-ground the contribution aims to discuss and analyze a decisum of the UK Supreme Court as regards the claims arising out of the loan granted by the financial giant, “Goldman Sachsµ, to the beleaguered Banco Espirito Santo, and the judicial twist between the High Court and the Court of Appeal eventually culminated in the court decision at stake. In the mythological and perennial battle between Goliath and David, the former (ergo, the Giant American bank Goldman Sachs) has been defeated once again, in an unexpected reiteration of the history. However, unlikely the proverbial David, the «good guy», the paper suggests that, for once, the Goliath (in other words, the giant American bank) might not have been the «bad guy», in fact the opposite may be true. The paper is also an occasion to review, from a legal point of view, the resolution tool of the bridge bank, in an analysis which refers to and peruses both the Italian and the overseas sources.


  • Bridge Bank
  • Resolution Authority
  • Creditor’
  • s Write Down
  • Banco Espirito Santo
  • UK Supreme Court
  • Competence on a Civil Court on a Decision of the Resolution Authority


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