Financial Services Regulatory

About

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Our global Financial Services Regulatory (FSR) practice provides comprehensive advice to the world’s leading financial institutions, including commercial and investment banks, broker-dealers and investment advisers, nonbank lenders, sovereign wealth funds and government-owned banks, and to emerging financial services providers, including fintechs and payment companies. 

We are trusted advisors, helping our clients stay informed of new regulatory initiatives, develop innovative products and services, implement and maintain effective compliance programs and controls, monitor and respond to new risks, and explore strategic opportunities in emerging markets.

Our extensive experience across a full spectrum of domestic and cross-border services, includes:

Expansion of operations

  • Bank and nonbank licensing options for traditional financial services providers
  • Evolving licensing options and regulatory strategies for fintechs and other nonbank financial services providers
  • Regulation of payments, broker-dealer, investment adviser, investment fund, derivatives, underwriting and insurance mediation, and other nonbanking activities 
  • Enhanced prudential standards, resolution planning, ring-fencing, consumer financial services and COVID-19 relief, AML and internal systems and controls
  • Transactional experience with new products and services, distribution arrangements, partnerships, client platform development and other services involving regulatory issues 

Regulatory and legislative advocacy

  • Cross-border legislative/regulatory policy development
  • Developing and advocating for fintech/regtech solutions
     

Regulatory capital solutions

  • Structured solutions to improve capital and liquidity ratios and to manage the balance sheet effect of changing regulatory and accounting requirements
  • Capital raising, capital relief, disposal/sale of assets, including structuring of non-performing loan (NPL) and asset-backed securitization offerings

Digitization

  • Incorporating digital processes, products and services, including payments services
  • Adopting AI-driven regtech solutions

Data privacy and cybersecurity

  • Data breach preparedness, incident response and disputes

  • Regulatory compliance, including GDPR, NIS Directive, and US federal and state breach and privacy requirements

Anti-financial crime

  • National and cross-border anti-financial crime risk assessments, remediation and compliance with key local and international regulations
  • Developing, implementing and overseeing compliance with AML/KYC/CIP/CDD/beneficial owner programs
  • Managing third-party vendor financial crimes risk/exposure

Enforcement, investigation and supervisory

  • Regulatory, supervisory, enforcement and compliance inquiries/material risk reviews/gap analyses
  • Extraterritoriality of anti-corruption, anti-money laundering and sanctions laws
  • Current expectations of enforcement authorities for self-reporting, cooperation and remediation

Regulatory Disputes

  • Administrative and court proceedings against decisions by regulatory authorities

 

Core related areas

 

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Tier Two – Banking & Finance: Financial Services: Regulatory
The Legal 500 EMEA 2020

"Clients, including banks and financial institutions, benefit from the team's regulatory expertise, which is regularly employed when advising on NPL transactions (frequently embedded in bank restructuring and distressed M&A mandates), asset-based financings and SRT transactions as well as on traditional and synthetic securitisations across various asset classes."
The Legal 500 EMEA 2020

"The lawyers are excellent to deal with; they are extremely responsive and provide great strategic business advice that clearly takes into account the regulatory regime we are working in."
Chambers USA 2020 

"Their combination of a technology transaction team and the regulatory team fits very well from a FinTech perspective. Good synergy for a FinTech client."
Chambers FinTech Legal 2020

Experience

Financial holding company election
Advised a global non-US bank on issues related to seeking US financial holding company (FHC) status, including strategies to address the need to ring-fence US operations in a US intermediate holding company (IHC).  

Enhanced prudential standards
Rendering ongoing advice to non-US banks on compliance with Dodd-Frank Act enhanced prudential standards, including issues related to requirements for maintenance of a US liquidity buffer, establishment of a US Risk Committee and US Chief Risk Officer, and strategies to avoid the need to ring-fence US operations in a US IHC.

Resolution planning
Assisted several large Asia-Pacific and EU banks in addressing compliance with the US and EU resolution plan requirements, including preparation of the resolution plan filings of a large Asia-Pacific–based global bank. 

Volcker Rule compliance 
Prepared a comprehensive Volcker Rule compliance programs to address the global trading and fund activities of a number of global EU- and Asia-Pacific–based banks, and recurring advice on strategies to address the potential impact of Volcker Rule limitations on financings, securitizations, M&A and other transactions.

Facebook’s launch of the Libra Foundation and Novi Wallet
Representing Facebook on matters related to the development of the Novi wallet and in connection with the establishment of the Libra Association.

Bank and nonbank Fintech collaboration
Advising Tide on its successful collaboration with ClearBank to apply for an award under the RBS Capability and Innovation Fund and on the development and launch of the Tide business bank account.

EU Single Resolution Regime / EU Banking Levy
Represented Landesbank Baden-Württemberg in their successful appeal against the EU Single Resolution Board’s (SRB) decision on the EU Banking Levy 2017 before the EU General Court in Luxembourg. In its groundbreaking judgement of 23 September 2020 (T-411/17) the General Court decided that the decision by the SRB is void and the Delegated Regulation 2015/63 by the European Commission on the calculation of the Banking Levy is partly illegal. 

Laws, rules and regulations inventory
Prepared an enhanced and updated inventory of laws, rules and regulations for one of the largest banking institutions in Japan to serve as a business and compliance tool for its entities and business units in North America and Latin America. We advised on a wide spectrum of substantive legal areas, including banking and securities laws, derivatives, consumer financial protection laws, environmental protection, employment, trade and various other areas affecting the bank and its affiliates and subsidiaries.

E-commerce payment advisory 
Representing a global technology company on payment specific advisory matters in relation to the various regulatory regimes in a number of Middle Eastern and North African countries (including stored value, loyalty cards, payments aggregation).

Anti-financial crimes and defense
Representing N26, a German neobank with more than five million customers, in its defense against a sanction for breaching anti-money laundering reporting obligations to the German authorities.

First of its kind fintech ILC 
Representing Square, a Silicon Valley payments unicorn, with its regulatory application process with the FDIC to obtain deposit insurance in connection with a new bank charter application to become a Utah-chartered bank (specifically an industrial loan company).

Brexit
Advising multiple EU and UK clients as to the impact of Brexit on their business and on the most efficient method of securing business continuity.  Arising from these projects the UK/EU team has advised on the adjustment of client compliance programs, licensing strategies and amendments to terms of business and transactional documentation.

Bank acquisitions and related licensing approvals
Represented Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), a leading state-owned commercial bank, in the successful acquisition of a US chartered bank—the first such acquisition by a mainland Chinese bank, including preparing, filing and addressing issues related to obtaining FRB and OCC approval.

Non-performing loans
Represented Piraeus Bank, one of Greece’s leading “big four” banks, in the sale and transfer of a portfolio of non-performing, denounced unsecured retail consumer and credit card exposures equivalent to €2.238 billion total legal claims to APS Investments, a leading CEE/SEE distressed debt investment advisor and manager.