Financial services

Our financial services compliance lawyers are able to use their legal and commercial expertise to provide specialist, meaningful and cost-effective advice on all regulation and compliance matters that affect financial institutions. 

Main areas of practice 

The extensive changes in financial services regulation during 2013/2014 have created new challenges for all involved in the area.  Our Financial Services Compliance team, which combines the expertise of our FCA and CCA specialists, is able to advise the full range of affected clients on the practical steps required to make sure they are compliant with all relevant issues, including items such as Data Protection Act (DPA), Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Legislation and Bribery Act requirements, as well as general FCA rules and guidance.

Specific areas include:

  • FCA handbook requirements, including systems/controls, conduct of business, clients assets and outsourcing/procurement
  • FCA authorisation, interim permissions, variation of permissions and individual approval processes
  • Regulatory supervision and Enforcement investigations in relation to firms and individuals including proceedings before the FCA's Regulatory Decisions Committee
  • Financial product design, marketing and promotion
  • Corporate support for fund raises (equity investments/debt instruments) reviewing documentation including Information Memoranda and verification work
  • Structuring and promotion of unregulated collective investment schemes, Enterprise Initiative Schemes and Alternative Investment Funds
  • General perimeter issues (regulated activities and financial promotions regime)
  • Commercial arrangements

Clients 

Our financial services compliance clients include:

  • Retail banks/building societies/mortgage funders
  • A government subsidiary
  • Equipment leasing/vehicle finance companies
  • Housing associations
  • Major insurance companies
  • A large IFA network
  • Numerous small investment firms
  • Insurance intermediaries

We also provide advice on regulatory issues, including FCA, CCA, DPA and AML compliance, to numerous commercial providers of goods and services who are involved on the periphery of financial services, whether as funders  for  their own products or as credit brokers.

Significant experience 

Examples of where our advice has recently proved invaluable to our clients include:      

  • Assisting a bank in dealing with ongoing FCA regulatory issues of a subsidiary company which  was not compliant with a number of essential FCA regulations applying to their activities. This involved considerable reworking of internal processes to allow them to function both commercially and in a compliant manner.
  • Updating a suite of regulated mortgage documents which we prepared for a building society to take account of changes to the FCA's Mortgage Conduct of Business Sourcebook and recent developments in unfair terms in consumer contract requirements.
  • Maintaining suites of homebuy and mortgage rescue documents for a number of housing associations.
  • Helping a bank with: review of new general and protection insurance policies against the FCA's Principles for Businesses 6 and 7; Insurance Conduct of Business Sourcebook (ICOBS); unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations; distance marketing; e-commerce directives.
  • Advising clients on remediation projects to rectify CCA compliance issues, including disclosure to regulators as appropriate.
  • Reviewing distribution and delegated authority agreements for a large medical insurance intermediary, both from a commercial point of view and ensuring all the FCA's requirements were incorporated and appropriate Bribery Act provisions were included.

Related expertise

Our people

Related Knowledge & Resources

Financial Conduct Authority speech on Consumer Credit sourcebook

News

On 21 October 2014, Linda Woodhall, the FCA Director of Mortgage and Consumer Lending, gave a speech on the changing regulatory landscape in respect of consumer credit as a result of the FCA's new role as regulator of all consumer credit activities.

Enforced subject access requests will be a criminal offence as of 1 December 2014

News

From 1 December 2014 it will be a criminal offence, contrary to section 56 of the DPA, for an employer to require an individual to use their subject access rights under the DPA to provide certain records as a condition of employment.

Two new major appointments strengthen London Banking team

Press Release

Two experienced solicitors have joined our London based Banking and Finance team to strengthen its position as a leading firm.

Delayed consultation on the transfer of Consumer Credit Regulation to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

We provide an update on the delayed consultation paper on the new regulatory regime for Consumer Credit.

The FSA finally takes action on interest rate swap arrangements

We consider the recent FSA announcement that it had reached an agreement with Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds and RBS to provide appropriate redress where mis-selling of IRSAs has occurred.

OFT Consumer Credit Licence

Richard considers the changes recently issued by the OFT to the consumer credit licencing regime.

Rebates for consumer credit licence holders

Richard Humphreys looks at the Government's decision to give some consumer credit licence holders a rebate of their licence fee.

The Consumer Credit Sourcebook

On the whole, CONC appears to reflect the majority of the existing CCA Regulations and OFT guidance. However, there are some things to watch out for!