Financial Regulation

Our leading Financial Regulation practice supports clients from across the financial services spectrum including banks and lenders, insurers and reinsurers, investment firms, asset managers and funds, non-bank lenders, payment service providers, e-money issuers and financial market infrastructure businesses such as exchanges and clearing systems. We also advise those operating at the perimeter of the financial services sector.

Our projects frequently have an international or cross-border element. We work closely with leading financial regulatory experts in Europe, the US and Asia, who we believe have the best expertise and the right skill set to deliver what our clients need. We spend a proportion of our time in Brussels, to enhance our ability to monitor and advise on EU financial regulatory developments, as well as to engage with our network of financial regulatory contacts in European institutions.

Our Financial Regulation team forms part of the firm’s wider Financial Institutions Group to provide an integrated service across the entire waterfront of the financial sector.

We work closely with our Disputes and Investigations Group to handle regulatory investigations and disciplinary proceedings for major financial institutions.

Key experience

Prudential

We advised Prudential on the demerger of its UK & Europe business (M&G Prudential) from Prudential plc, resulting in two separately-listed companies. This transaction required regulatory approvals in more than 30 countries and territories.

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. This was an important strategic transaction for SLA, completing its transformation to a capital light investment business.

Marsh & McLennan

We advised Marsh & McLennan on the £4.3 billion recommended cash acquisition of Jardine Lloyd Thompson, involving regulatory approvals in more than 70 countries and territories.

Various financial services groups

We advised a number of financial services groups, including several UK global banking and asset management groups, on major Brexit-driven reorganisations.

UK Asset Resolution

We advised UK Asset Resolution Limited (UKAR) and NRAM Limited (NRAM) in relation to the disposal by NRAM of portfolios of residential owner-occupied mortgages and unsecured loans to Citibank N.A. for a total consideration of £4.9 billion.

Credit Karma

We advised Credit Karma on its first move into Europe with an agreement to acquire TransUnion’s Noddle business.

Clients trust us with their strategic regulatory work, and we have a strong record of working on complex and transformational cross-border projects in the financial sector.

We advise on the full life cycle of business and product developments, from the establishment of new financial services businesses; mergers, acquisitions and reorganisations; group and business structures; and governance arrangements; to the structuring and distribution of new and innovative products for both wholesale and retail markets. 

We advise extensively on the interaction between new and emerging technologies and financial regulation and we are highly experienced in advising clients operating payment services and e-money strategies, and innovative business models in the fintech sector.

Our expertise extends to the application of the international anti-money laundering regimes. We also advise a number of global clients on UK, EU and US economic and trade sanctions.

Prudential regulation

We have a deep and longstanding experience of advising on regulatory capital matters for banks, investment firms and insurers, including advising on the regulatory capital aspects of M&A transactions and group reorganisations and on the eligibility of capital instruments.

We have also worked with clients on a range of projects involving major structural changes in the financial sector, including bank structural reform.

We have expertise on recovery and resolution planning for financial institutions and MREL (minimum requirements for own funds and eligible liabilities) requirements.

Our experience in this area includes:

  • Acting as lead legal advisers to two major UK banking groups on their preparations and reorganisations to achieve compliance with the UK bank ring-fencing regime which came into force on 1 January 2019.
  • Advising a number of UK and global banking groups on their preparations to ensure compliance with EU and UK MREL regimes.
  • Supporting a number of UK and global banking institutions on their recovery and resolution planning and ensuring they meet the requirements of both the UK and EU resolution regimes.
Conduct regulation

We advise on all aspects of the conduct regulatory regimes that apply to financial institutions, including all aspects of the MiFID regime, licensing and authorisation, product governance, corporate governance and accountability, and culture. We also regularly advise on market conduct and benchmarks. 

We work closely with experts in the Pensions, Employment and Incentives team on matters relating to executive compensation and incentive arrangements in the financial sector.  

Our experience in this area includes:

  • Supporting Stripe, the online payment services provider, on a range of regulatory engagement and product development matters.
  • Advising American Express on a range of assignments relating to card-based electronic payment activity, and including the development and launch of the first UK electronic traveller’s cheque.
  • Supporting organisations such as Handelsbanken and the open banking API provider TrueLayer with their licensing projects. 
Key contacts
Jan Putnis
Jan Putnis Partner
Ben Kingsley
Ben Kingsley Partner
Nick Bonsall
Nick Bonsall Partner