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

Main contacts

Related Knowledge & Resources

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NRAM plc v McAdam and another – Court of Appeal hand down its ruling in controversial consumer credit case

News

Court of Appeal hand down its ruling in controversial consumer credit case.

The FCA finalises rules on complaints handling

News

On 29 July 2015, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) released its Policy Statement detailing final rules on complaints handling for consumers and FCA authorised firms.

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.

Do the provisions of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 protecting consumers against unfair relationships apply to personal guarantors of corporate liabilities?

The recent case of Bank of Ireland (UK) Plc v McLaughlin (2015) identified two very important issues for personal guarantors guaranteeing corporate liabilities.

NRAM plc v McAdam and others – first instance and Court of Appeal

The Court of Appeal continue to deliberate on the central issue of s.77A Consumer Credit Act raised in NRAM plc v McAdam and another [2014] EWHC 4174 (Comm).

Moving the regulation of second charge lending into the mortgage regime

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) will transfer the regulation of second charge lending from its consumer credit regime to its mortgage regime. This is expected to take place on 21 March 2016.