International and Comparative Law Quarterly

Articles

THE BRITISH BANK NATIONALIZATIONS: AN INTERNATIONAL LAW PERSPECTIVE

N Jansen Calamitaa1

a1 University of Birmingham. Former Attorney-Adviser in the Office of the Legal Adviser, International Claims & Investment Disputes, US Department of State.

Abstract

The British Government's nationalization of the shares of Northern Rock plc and Bradford & Bingley plc in 2008 raises important issues about the standard of protection owed to the banks' non-UK investors and the manner in which compensation should be calculated. The United Kingdom is party to numerous bilateral investment treaties as well as the European Convention on Human Rights, which adopt an international standard of protection for foreign investors and require the payment of ‘market value’ compensation for the property taken. As the analysis in this article shows, the compensation scheme established by the British Government appears to fall short of these obligations.

Footnotes

The author wishes to thank Nancy Eisenhauer, Henry Mares and David A Pawlak for their helpful comments on various drafts of this article.