Financial Services Regulation


Whatever the issue - whether it's developing your financial services business, taking an active part in industry change and consolidation or dealing with regulatory scrutiny - Gowling WLG's Financial Services team can support you.

What's more, by combining experts from a range of disciplines across the firm, clients in the financial services sector benefit from full-service support and market insight. Previous experience working in-house at financial institutions and at the UK financial services regulators enhances our ability to combine commercially astute and technically excellent advice.

As the financial services sector meets the challenges of the current economic landscape, regulation has never been so hotly debated. So it's more important than ever to receive specialist advice. Our track record includes helping clients avoid the pitfalls when dealing with the regulator, whether for supervisory purposes or for more contentious matters.

Financial institutions and businesses are facing unprecedented challenges in the aftermath of the credit crisis and the global recession. This is presenting itself in the form of continuing liquidity issues, shareholder and investor activism, more onerous capital adequacy requirements and an evolving regulatory regime which continuously demands better governance, transparency and accountability from institutions.

At the same time, national governments are considering further taxes on banks and restrictions on their trading activities, while the private equity industry is fearful of the impact which proposed European legislation will have on private equity assets under management in Europe.

These challenges, together with technical developments, also present many opportunities for those ready to embrace the new environment as many of our clients have discovered. It has been our privilege to be involved with and to continue to work with market participants in this exciting sector.

Our clients and sectors

Investment and retail banks, challenger banks, payment services providers, insurers, mutuals, exchanges, intermediaries, listed and alternative fund managers, retail credit providers and crowd funding platforms continue to benefit from the support and advice of our regulatory team.

The team also advises corporates and pension fund trustees. Whether you are a financial institution or an entrepreneur with a clever idea, we can be an extension of your in-house team, your sole counsel or your trusted adviser at the end of the phone for some ad hoc advice.

What our clients tell us

"I think it's a really good and useful piece of work, so a huge thankyou for that. I know it's not an easy thing to put together but you've really taken on board the usability requirement we had and I think the result is really helpful." From an in-house lawyer at a major high street bank.

"Thank you on behalf of the TransferGo team for your important and highly valued contribution to our API application. It was really helpful to have you on board. It was pleasure working with you and we are happy to recommend you to others."

Many years spent advising the industry and the regulator means we know how the financial sector functions. We consider it our duty to be industry insiders in order to give robust, pragmatic and innovative advice to our clients, taking the lead on those issues that matter to them most.

Clients call upon our expertise and consider us as an extra pair of eyes and ears in anticipating the impact of the stream of developments arising from Europe, the Treasury and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Our experience in working with financial sector trade associations on a range of issues keeps us in tune with the sector and how it's evolving. For example, we contributed to industry focus groups on matters as diverse as the FSA's Suitability Guidance, the Independent Commission on Banking and HM Treasury's consultation on the Banking Reform Bill.

The firm is a member of the Alternative Investment Managers Association, the Association of Professional Compliance Consultants, the British Venture Capital Association and Penny Sanders is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investments.


  • Advising on the FSMA, FCA and PRA Rules, and European Financial Services Directives including MiFID2, EMIR, the CRD and the AIFMD
  • Applying for FCA and PRA authorisation and Variation of Permission on behalf of fund managers, banking institutions, payment services institutions and a call centre
  • Advising crowd-funding, peer to peer lending platforms and an increasing volume of fintech businesses.
  • Advising alternative fund managers on promotions and the implications of the AIFMD on their business models
  • Consumer credit advice across a range of industries
  • Working with our M&A teams on change of control submissions and regulatory due diligence
  • Providing support and advice to high street banks on the launch of new retail products, including drafting customer facing documentation and detailed processes for marketing
  • Advising both firms and individuals on corporate governance meeting the FCA's expectations and the responsibilities of those exercising controlled functions
  • Advising an international infrastructure company on compliance with anti-money laundering and sanctions regimes
  • Working with insurers and mutuals on matters ranging from conduct of business to governance
  • Advising an energy market participant of the requirement for FCA regulation and the applicability of MiFID
  • Advising a European clearing and settlement institution on a cross-border joint venture to provide a new financial service
  • Advising individuals, institutions and exchanges during investigations and enforcement processes conducted by the Regulators
  • Providing employment law advice to financial institutions in the context of the FCA and PRA Approved Persons regime
  • Advising on CASS and hosting an industry forum on changes to the client assets regime