On 25 July 2011, the European Commission published the proposed European Account Preservation Order (EAPO) Regulation. The proposal is for a new and additional kind of bank freezing order which will be available throughout the EU. The regime, if it is adopted in the UK, will materially change the way banks do business in relation to requests to search and freeze accounts. Given that it is intended to be available in the courts of any EU member state, it is reasonable to expect increased demands on banks in consequence.
The UK government has until 24 October 2011 to elect whether to opt in to the Regulation, but it will probably be several years before the Regulation comes into force. For more information on the proposals see our e-bulletin dated 1 August 2011.