Financial Institutions Group

Our leading cross-stream Financial Institutions Group (FIG) advises on the full range of corporate, financing and regulatory matters in the UK, EU and globally for our financial institution clients across the financial services industry, including banks, insurers, asset managers, non-bank finance providers, payment service providers and market infrastructure participants.

We bring together specialist expertise from all relevant teams, including corporate, financing, financial regulation, and fintech to provide its financial institution clients with a comprehensive and fully integrated service. We also draw on the expertise of a number of teams across the firm as needed, including our tax, pensions, employment and incentives, competition, tech and digital, data privacy, IP and disputes teams.

Much of our transactional and advisory work is cross-border and international by nature. We have strong and long-standing relationships with market-leading firms across the EU and globally, which means we can immediately put together the right team of experts for relevant matters, covering the jurisdictions in which our clients need the best advice and providing value for money.

Our Group and these firms have close and continuous relationships with relevant regulators in the UK, EU and globally, and we have been at the forefront of policy development for many years. This provides for productive communication with the regulators, effective regulatory solutions that are right for our clients’ businesses and acceptable to the regulators, and also means we understand the regulators’ policy approaches and apply this to our interpretation of relevant UK and EU legislation.

We maintain a leading position across relevant fields in the UK market (Chambers, Legal 500 and IFLR 1000 have each ranked us in their top tiers for many years) and we are a trusted and long-standing adviser to many financial institutions. We provide the full range of advice to clients across the financial services sector, including on:

  • the full range of corporate work, including domestic and international M&A, joint ventures, corporate restructuring, business and asset transfers and flotations
  • the full spectrum of financing work, including debt and equity issuances, regulatory capital arrangements and specialist lending products
  • all aspects of retail and wholesale prudential and conduct of business financial regulation
  • asset management and investment funds work, including complex and/or high value investment fund formation, commercial arrangements and strategic matters
  • financial market infrastructure work, including regulatory reform in the sector
  • the rapidly developing digital financial services sector and our clients’ work within it
  • financial regulatory investigations and disciplinary proceedings
  • our clients’ Brexit-related strategic, restructuring and longer-term operational projects.

Key experience

Bank structural reform

We advised two major UK retail and investment banks on the UK and EU bank structural reform regimes and the reorganisation and restructuring required to meet the complex UK ring-fencing requirements by the regulatory deadline of 1 January 2019.

OneSavings Bank

We advised OneSavings Bank on its recommended all-share combination with the UK specialist mortgage bank, Charter Court Financial Services Group. This combination will create one of the largest challenger banks in the UK.

Allianz

We advised Allianz on its acquisition of the general insurance business of Legal & General Group.  Together with Allianz’s acquisition of the remaining 51% of LV General Insurance Group, this will establish Allianz as a top four insurer in the UK personal home segment and will mean that 12 million general insurance customers are part of Allianz in the UK.

Standard Life Aberdeen

We advised Standard Life Aberdeen on the sale of its capital-intensive insurance business to Phoenix for a total consideration of £3.24 billion, and prior to that Standard Life on the recommended all-share merger of Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management. Both transactions complete SLA’s transformation to a capital-light investment business.

Prudential

We advised Prudential on the proposed demerger of its UK and European business (M&G Prudential), resulting in two separately listed companies. M&G Prudential will be an independent UK & Europe savings and investment provider.

Arrow Global

We advised Arrow Global on the establishment of a pan-European investment fund focusing on investments into European credit, including non-performing loans.

Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd

We advised Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd on its proposed (but later withdrawn) offer for the LSE, valued at approximately £29.6 billion.

Aquis Exchange

We advised Aquis Exchange on its acquisition of NEX Exchange Limited from CME Group.

Brexit-related work for financial institutions

We are advising a number of financial institutions on their Brexit-related strategic planning, corporate restructuring, business transfers and longer-term operational work to ensure business continuity post-Brexit.

KEY CONTACTS