CC scoops ABN Amro for covered bond programme

Clifford Chance has won the mandate for the first covered bond programme to be launched in the Netherlands.

The magic circle firm’s London and Amsterdam offices are advising ABN Amro on the structuring and documentation of the programme based on their expertise in the UK market.

Clifford Chance already has a strong foothold in the UK covered bond market. It is currently working on behalf of Nationwide for its upcoming programme, which is the first from a UK building society.

Clifford Chance partner Debashis Dey explained: “Building societies haven’t traditionally securitised members’ mortgages due to the complications arising from members’ rights, but we’ve found a solution to that problem.”

The expansion of the covered bond market into new territories such as the UK has provided plenty of work for law firms.

Since HBOS launched the first UK programme in 2003, three other banks have set up covered bond platforms. As well as Nationwide, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is set to join the covered bond market and is understood to have instructed Linklaters on its forthcoming programme.

Although the magic circle firms have won the majority of the covered bond business (see table), Slaughter and May has also been active in this area.

The covered bond originated in Germany at the end of the 19th century. The bonds are backed by mortgages issued by the lenders and normally carry the highest possible rating.

Advisers on recent covered bonds
Issuer Adviser for issuer Adviser for arranger(s)
Northern Rock Allen & Overy, Tods Murray Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Abbey National Slaughter and May Allen & Overy
RBS Linklaters Allen & Overy
HBOS Allen & Overy Sidley Austin Brown & Wood
Bradford & Bingley Allen & Overy Clifford Chance
Nationwide Clifford Chance Allen & Overy
Source: The Lawyer