Benjamin Saul represents banks and non-banks, including ﬁnancial technology (fintech) companies, of all sizes in a wide range of matters, with a focus on those relating to retail bank and consumer ﬁnancial products and services. Ben helps clients navigate regulatory examinations, investigations, enforcement actions and administrative proceedings, conduct corporate internal investigations, litigate civil and class action disputes, develop and enhance compliance management systems, address legislative and policy issues, conduct transactional due diligence, develop products and services, and negotiate various product and service-related agreements.
Ben has extensive experience representing clients in matters involving the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and has been a leader within the private bar on CFPB matters since the Bureau's inception in 2011. In addition to his CFPB practice, he has also represented ﬁnancial services clients in many matters involving the federal and state banking authorities, Congress, Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and state attorneys general.
During his career, Ben has handled matters involving every enumerated consumer ﬁnance law and asset class, as well as many innovative products and services, including in the areas of mobile and digital banking, merchant services, payments, data analytics, marketplace and online lending, digital currencies and blockchain, personal finance, and foreign exchange.
His experience extends across the entire consumer ﬁnance product life-cycle. He is a leading lawyer in the areas of fair and responsible banking and compliance with fair lending laws. In addition, Ben has also advised ﬁnancial services clients on criminal and quasi-criminal matters, including AML/BSA, mortgage fraud and ﬁnancial institution fraud, and has experience advising on corporate governance issues as well as handling binding mediation, arbitration and litigation involving corporate ﬁduciary duty, indemniﬁcation and other business issues.
Ben is a frequent speaker, author and commentator on banking, consumer ﬁnance, and fintech issues. He is a member of the Board of Editorial Advisors for the Review of Banking & Financial Services, as well as Banking Law360. He also is active in the Litigation and Business Law sections of the American Bar Association, and is a former co-chair of the Consumer Litigation Committee. He is a Fellow of both the American College of Consumer Financial Services Lawyers and the American Bar Foundation, as well as a member of the Exchequer Club (all peer elected positions). Ben was a clerk for a federal appellate judge.
Representation of numerous financial institutions, other financial services companies and individuals in more than 20 CFPB investigations and enforcement matters concerning marketing, lending, collections, credit reporting, and servicing practices across every consumer finance asset class, including, mortgages, credit cards, auto loans, student loans, manufactured home loans, personal loans, as well as payment systems and other services. Aside from one matter involving the alleged marketing and sales practices of a major credit card issuer, which was resolved successfully by consent order, these matters have been closed with no action or, in certain cases, resolved privately on favorable terms.
Representation of several financial institutions in connection with efforts to comply with CFPB Consent Orders.
Representation of several financial institutions and other financial services companies in product reviews, mock examinations and other readiness guidance in advance of CFPB exams. In addition, advise client in connection with supervisory exam issues involving the CFPB, including a wide range of pre-enforcement issues as well as responding to Proposed Action Response Request letters.
Representation of multiple fintech companies in the development of products and services, including navigating regulatory requirements and the negotiation of various, relevant agreements.
Representation of multiple fintech companies on regulatory compliance matters, including establishing compliance management programs, evaluating fair lending and UDAAP risks, developing consumer complaint response systems, evaluating licensing requirements, and establishing bank partnerships.
Representation of several fintech clients in efforts to facilitate discussions around product and service development and related issues with the CFPB, FTC, and other federal and state agencies.
Representation of numerous fintech clients on the development of discrete and enterprise strategies for managing regulatory risk, including the management of communications with appropriate divisions of the CFPB and other state and federal authorities.
Representation of many fintech clients in connection with responding to CFPB, FTC, state attorneys general and state financial services regulatory inquiries and investigations. These matters have all been resolved without agency action.
Representation of a large, Global bank in connection with the bank's efforts to comply with Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and Federal Reserve Board (FRB) consent orders concerning default mortgage servicing and foreclosure practices. Both agencies have deemed the bank in full compliance with their Orders.
Representation of a large, Global bank in the resolution of parallel grand jury and OCC investigations as well as a nationwide class action and a state-level mass action in a matter involving allegations of mortgage fraud and predatory lending. The matter was successfully resolved globally, with the grand jury declaring the bank a victim, the OCC closing its investigation, and the civil litigation settled on very favorable terms.
Representation of a bank in a DOJ investigation, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) examination and resulting joint enforcement action into that bank's compliance with the Service members Civil Relief Act (SCRA).
Representation of a bank in connection with the negotiation of a deferred prosecution agreement with the DOJ involving a one count information alleging failure to file suspicious activity reports in violation of the Bank Secrecy Act.
Representation of a bank in connection with a successful appeal of its CAMELS rating to the Supervision Appeals Review Committee (SARC).
Representation of a former bank director in an investigation brought by the FDIC following the failure of the bank. FDIC closed the matter without action.
Representation of multiple Chapter 7 Trustees of failed bank holding companies, including IndyMac Bancorp, in (i) the investigation of the financial affairs and collapse of the debtors, (ii) the defense of the debtors in government enforcement matters involving the FDIC, DOJ and SEC, (iii) litigation against the FDIC concerning the ownership of certain tax refunds and other assets, and (iv) the prosecution of claims against certain insiders and third parties. Significant recoveries for the debtors were obtained while avoiding government liability in each action.
Representation of numerous financial institutions and other financial services companies before prudential banking regulators, the CFPB, the DOJ and HUD in fair lending and servicing examinations, investigations and lawsuits involving, among other things, the marketing, underwriting, pricing and servicing of mortgages, credit cards, student loans, auto loans and other unsecured loans. All such matters were resolved with no action or on favorable terms privately.
Representation of multiple non-bank lenders in a nationwide class action lawsuit brought by the NAACP against 18 bank and non-bank lenders in an action alleging "reverse redlining" violations of the Fair Housing Act (FHA), Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), and Civil Rights Act. Achieved dismissal of the case for three clients and victory at summary judgment for a fourth.
Representation of bank and non-bank clients on all aspects of fair and responsible banking compliance, including developing compliance policies and programs, conducting risk assessments and developing periodic statistical testing programs.
Attorney-Client Privilege Issues and In-House Counsel, April 9, 2016: ABA Banking Law Section Spring Meeting, Speaker
Banks as Incubators of Innovation, 2016 Fintech Forum: The Convergence of Finance, Technology, and the Law, March 10, 2016: Speaker
Major CFPB Enforcement Activity, 2015 ACA International Convention & Expo, July 19, 2015: Speaker
State Enforcement and the Dodd-Frank Act: The New Sheriffs in Town, April 16, 2015: Speaker
CFPB Guidance on UDAAP Enforcement in Light of Regulation AA Repeal, November 14, 2014: Speaker
CFPB & Enforcement in 2014, August 18, 2014: Speaker
CFPB's Arbitration Study: Understanding Its Impact on Financial Institutions, July 25, 2014: Speaker
Cybersecurity Litigation Risks and Insurance Coverage, American Bar Association Section of Litigation Regional CLE, June 19, 2014: Moderator
Major Developments in Consumer Financial Services Enforcement, Financial Services Roundtable's Fourth Annual Consumer Program, May 14, 2014: Panelist
Mortgage and Consumer Lending: Defending Disparate Impact Claims Amid Aggressive Regulatory Enforcement, April 17, 2014: Faculty
The CFPB’s Supervisory Regime, Consumer Bankers Association's CBA Live: Red, White and Banking, March 31, 2014: Panelist
Translating the Success of UK Fintech Measures to the US, E-Finance & Payments Law & Policy, July 2016, (co-author)
What Should Banks Expect from the CFPB's Debt Collection Rulemaking, Banking & Financial Services Policy Report, August 2016, (co-author)
Preparing for the New HMDA Rule, Mortgage Banking, February 2016, (co-author)
Attorney-Client Privilege in the United States, West Group 2015-2016 ed., December 2015, (co-author)
Consumer Finance Year in Review, February 23, 2016, (co-author)
CFPB's Question Unanswered—What is 'Abuse'?, Bloomberg BNA, November 23, 2015, (co-author)
CFPB Must Show Its Cards on Defining 'Abusive', American Banker, November 6, 2015, (co-author)
CFPB Issues New Mortgage Disclosure Rule, October 20, 2015, (co-author)
States Wield New Weapon Against Banks-Courtesy of Dodd-Frank, American Banker, December 26, 2014, (co-author)
The Legal Landscape for Peer-to-Peer Lending, Resource, October 30, 2014, (co-author)
Chapter 16: The Dodd-Frank Act and the CFPB, ABA's Truth in Lending (2014 ed.), October 24, 2014, (co-author)
Dodd-Frank's New Deputies of Federal Consumer Financial Laws—States, New York Law Journal, September 19, 2014, (co-author)
Managing Vendors In An Era Of Increased CFPB Scrutiny, Bloomberg BNA, July 29, 2014, (co-author)
Fair Servicing: Regulators Watch for Discrimination by Servicers, ABA Bank Compliance, April 15, 2014, (co-author)