The consumer finance landscape is constantly changing. New rules, requirements and regulatory guidance mean that businesses often need timely, practical assistance in identifying and meeting these requirements, and implementing them in a way that makes sense for their operations.
Our lawyers are skilled in addressing and assisting with these issues, and can draw upon their experiences from secondments to retail financial organisations to deliver commercial and pragmatic solutions.
Both regulated firms and those on the perimeter of regulation must keep up to date with legislative change and the expectations of the regulators. Resourcing the relevant functions can be a constant struggle.
We can assist: from high level horizon scanning, through detailed advice on specific issues, to helping to implement change and training your staff. We cover the life cycles of both firms and products, providing targeted support when and in the way you need it. We act for banks, consumer credit and mortgage lenders, credit brokers (including secondary credit brokers), financial advisors, payment service providers and e-money issuers, as well as unauthorised firms that wish to ensure their activities remain outside the regulatory perimeter or firms that need financial crime prevention advice.
What we do
- Advising on and preparing applications for authorisations, changes in control and variations or cancellations or permission
- Drafting and negotiating distribution agreements, introducer and appointed representative agreements
- Preparing or reviewing product terms and associated documentation for financial products, such as savings and current accounts, ISAs, mortgages, and consumer credit products
- Reviewing and analysing on distribution arrangements, including sales paths and financial promotions
- Advising on complying with the requirements of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime
- Advising on outsourcing arrangement and agreements, including outsourcing of critical and important services
- Providing perimeter advice and guidance on ensuring businesses' activities do not inadvertently cross the boundary of regulation
- Assisting with structuring new and innovative products and arrangements, including cryptocurrencies and ICOs
- Assisting with devising and implementing remediation programmes
- Providing practical advice on financial crime prevention procedures and governance programmes.
Examples of work
- We assisted a new entrant to the credit market in designing and launching their first credit card, including negotiating all service agreements and preparing the regulated product documentation
- We advised an e-money provider on a review of its, and its affiliates and distributors' policies to bring them into compliance with the EU 4th Money Laundering Directive and the associated UK legislative measures and regulatory expectations. Our review included considering the specific new requirements on senior management of e-money issuers
- We assisted a UK retail bank in developing and launching a new mortgage product offering and distribution platform, working directly with the business and compliance function on all aspects of the proposition
- We were engaged by the internal audit team of a UK retail bank to review a major intragroup outsourcing agreement that covered several operational elements of customer service and interaction, to provide challenge to the client's legal team on the draft agreement's compliance with regulatory requirements and expectations, and to prepare an observations log and a report to the Board
- Our regulatory news microsite FIN provides updates on key legislative and regulatory developments affecting financial institutions and insurance sector firms.