Financial Services Regulation

Overview

The world of financial services regulation is becoming increasingly globalized and complex. As regulators collaborate to develop international and local standards, exchange information and co-operate on investigations, you need to be sure your financial regulatory lawyers can meet the challenge.

Our global team brings together professionals with many years of previous work experience as regulators or in-house counsel, offering key market insight paired with technically excellent legal advice. We take a pro-active approach by anticipating changes in the sector in several international markets and understanding how they may affect you. Collaborating with lawyers from our multitude of practice areas, we offer the financial services sector full-service legal support coupled with a deep understanding of the industry.

The global financial services sector is accelerating, with emerging technologies having a massive impact. Disruptors such as crypto-platforms, open banking APIs and other FinTechs are transforming the way banks, insurance companies, alternative lenders, start-ups and tech companies deliver their services and structure their organisations. As regulation evolves to meet this revolution, our financial services regulatory lawyers are committed to helping you redefine your place in the landscape.

Financial Services Regulation services

Meet our international team

With offices in major jurisdictions across the world, our core teams in Canada and the UK offer comprehensive global legal advice across the financial services spectrum. For more information on how we can help you, contact one of our teams.

Canada

Whether you are securing regulatory approvals or advising on the development of new financial services products, it is critical that you have trusted advice on-hand as you navigate today's regulatory environment.

Our financial services regulation lawyers offer strategic and practical assistance in the development and implementation of key corporate and product design plans with a regulatory component. Our team works across a range of practice areas to help you tackle complex, multi-faceted issues, including technology, securities, competition and antitrust, restructuring and insolvency and tax. We also advise on cross-Canada legislation (and provincial differences) and can provide you with regularly updated regulatory compliance management matrices tailored to your individual customer service models.

We are highly experienced in assisting domestic and foreign banks and insurance companies on a variety of regulatory matters. We regularly pursue applications with OSFI for approvals and orders, provide technical opinions with respect to the Bank Act and the Insurance Companies' Act, assist entities with alleged compliance deficiencies and advise on the implementation of new federal consumer regulations. We also support organizations with the development of new financial tools and products, including providing regulatory advice on peer-to-peer lending, mobile wallets and blockchain technology.

Client work

We advise a wide range of financial services industry participants, including domestic and foreign banks, trust companies, insurance companies, insurance intermediaries, payments companies, securities dealers and advisers, pension funds, government departments, regulators, and industry associations. Our past work includes:

Complex transactions

We were Canadian counsel to State Farm in Desjardins Group's acquisition of State Farm Canada's businesses in property and casualty life insurance as well as its Canadian mutual fund loan and living benefits companies. We also advised on Canadian bank, insurance company and pension plan regulatory requirements applicable to a bank and a reinsurance company in a multi-billion dollar off-shore longevity swap/reinsurance transaction for a large Canadian pension plan.

Advising and supporting FinTech

We routinely provide in-depth regulatory advice to FinTechs seeking to launch innovative financial products and services in Canada. We help these businesses navigate the challenges of regimes in securities, banking, AML, payments, privacy and others. We advised and represented a foreign MSB in its launch of a funds transmission, foreign exchange and financial services platform in Canada and negotiated its agreements with a payment network and payment card issuer.

Regulatory compliance

We review and draft compliance policies and procedures for FIs and non-FIs including internal control manuals, AML and sanctions compliance programs and legislative compliance management tools. We advised an online Canadian bank and credit union in developing a legislative compliance management matrix, which included a review of client on-boarding procedures and we are chief agent for foreign insurers in Canada and act as representative for foreign MSBs for their registration with FINTRAC.

Recognition

The team adapts as the case progresses, is proactive, efficient, timely and well-versed in recent case law. Chambers Canada

We are consistently recognised in the industry for our work in the financial services sector. Chambers and Partners Canada recognises Gowling WLG as a leading law firm in 27 categories, including Banking & Finance and Insurance, the team also ranks in Band 2 in its FinTech Legal rankings. In 2020, we achieved 357 rankings across 57 areas of law in Best Lawyers in Canada, including Banking & Finance, Corporate and Securities.

Contact our team in Canada

Michael Garellek
Partner, Co-Leader, Financial Services Regulatory Group (Canada)

UK

Regulatory change continues to top the agenda and will do for some time to come. There are more measures on the horizon, bringing new regulatory requirements and tighter control. These challenges, together with technical developments, also present many opportunities for those ready to embrace the new environment. Following Brexit, the UK Government is reviewing the regulatory environment and infrastructure, and is keen to encourage more investment in the UK in areas such as FinTech.

Whatever the issue - whether it's developing your financial services business, applying for authorisation, supervision and ongoing compliance issues, investigations and enforcement, taking an active part in industry change and consolidation or dealing with regulatory scrutiny, our Financial Services Regulation team's end-to-end tailored service is focused on helping you to meet your goals.

Led by a former Head of Department in the Enforcement Division at the UK regulator (FCA, formerly FSA), our dedicated team includes lawyers who have worked both as regulators and in-house at top tier financial services companies. Our experience offers valuable insight into the UK Financial regulator's perspective, as well as an in-depth understanding of the challenges you face.

Taking a multidisciplinary approach to ensure full service support, we combine practical and technically excellent advice with a responsive and 'can-do' attitude. Our regulatory experience covers a multitude of areas including FCA thematic projects, investigations, enforcement actions, s166 Skilled Person reviews and high profile redress exercises arising from FCA reviews.

We are particularly skilled in regulatory investigations, defending listed companies, senior management, heads of compliance and MLROs in FCA investigations and enforcement proceedings. We also advise on Skilled Person reports to the regulator. We take a proactive approach to ensure regulatory investigations are resolved quickly and efficiently.

Client work

Gowling WLG shows the type of commitment and engagement that we want from our external counsels, and it demonstrates that they are innovative and are really trying to understand the business on the detailed level that we need. $10 billion FinTech operating the e-commerce sector

Our experiences have taken us to matters across all areas of financial services. Whether you are a financial institution or an entrepreneur with a clever idea, we can work with you to help ensure your success.

  • Europe's leading FinTech

    Appointed to the UK panel of one of the world's highest value FinTech companies, we regularly advise them on the impact of the UK's payment services and consumer credit regulatory regimes on new and innovative product launches.

  • Supporting FinTech

    We routinely provide perimeter guidance advice to FinTech firms seeking to launch innovative financial products and services in the UK. We advise on the extent to which they would be undertaking regulated activities in the UK and then provide support throughout the entire FCA authorisations process.

  • Investment funds

    We have a long-established presence in the investment funds industry, advising on all types of funds, invested in a wide range of asset classes, in the UK and globally. We support our funds clients on the regulatory aspects of fund launches, formations and acquisitions.

Recognition

Their knowledge and experience of regulators has been one the firm's strengths.The Legal 500

Our team frequently speaks at industry conferences, seminars and webinars on financial services topics, including FCA Enforcement, market abuse and FinTech.

We are also ranked by The Legal 500 for Financial Services: Non-Contentious/Regulatory and Financial Services: Contentious, with Ian Mason and Sushil Kuner named as key lawyers in the FinTech and Financial Services: Non-Contentious/Regulatory categories.

Ian Mason, Head of the UK Financial Services Regulatory team and Joint UK Financial Services Sector Head, is the author of a number of books and articles on financial services. He has his own Practical Law market conduct column, and is a member of the Practical Law Financial Services Consultation Board. Ian is a member of the AIMA Market Abuse Working Group and the Society of Pension Practitioners Financial Services Regulation Sub-Committee.

Contact our team in the UK

Ian Mason
Partner, Head of UK Financial Services Regulation and Joint Head of UK Financial Services Sector

Kam Dhillon
Principal Associate

Sushil Kuner
Principal Associate

Stay ahead

Keep up-to-date with the latest in financial services regulatory environment by registering for our updates.

Register for updates

Contact us today

For advice on financial services regulation, contact a member of our team.

Contact the team