Sidley's Banking and Financial Services lawyers help leading institutions around the world navigate an uncertain and fast-changing regulatory environment. We provide unique breadth and depth of coverage, whether measured by types of legal services provided, topics addressed, geographies covered or categories of clients assisted. Please see our “Areas of Focus” for more detail.
Regulatory and Legislative Counseling, including Dodd-Frank Act Resources
Our counseling activities span the gamut from consumer financial services regulation to regulation of payment systems to capital and other structural issues faced by financial institutions. We understand the seismic shifts that have occurred on the financial landscape, including significant reforms enacted by Congress, such as the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act), and the myriad formal and informal regulatory initiatives that have accompanied those legislative reforms.
We have helped clients respond to matters as diverse as the Durbin Amendment’s limitations on debit card interchange, the interagency proposal to implement the Volcker Rule’s limitations on proprietary trading and hedge fund and private equity fund investments, the proposed rule published by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Federal Reserve) on enhanced supervision of the U.S. operations of foreign banking organizations, standard and tailored resolution plan requirements, the regulation of financial market utilities, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s (FDIC) orderly liquidation authority, and the numerous consumer protection initiatives of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) (such as the CFPB’s remittance rule).
We are dedicated to representing our clients’ interests in the rulemaking process and in complying with those reforms. To that end, we frequently assist clients with drafting comments, white papers, and other advocacy communications on proposed regulatory and legislative changes, and in drafting and presenting testimony before Committees of the United States Congress. We understand the practical consequences of regulatory initiatives, and use that insight to help clients find the most effective mechanisms for implementing new compliance mandates.
In addition, the globally integrated nature of our practice enables our lawyers to provide comprehensive advice across the spectrum of laws relating to banking and financial services in the U.S. as well as in Europe and Asia. This includes advising clients on E.U. financial services directives and their implementation in the U.K. and providing transactional services to financial institutions and businesses with extensive European and international operations.
Our lawyers assist a wide range of organizations in structuring and negotiating contracts involving financial products and services and obtaining necessary regulatory approvals for the underlying business arrangements. U.S. and global financial institutions, payment systems operators and service providers, and technology, securities, insurance, finance and mortgage companies all rely on our Banking and Financial Services lawyers to provide the combination of regulatory and transactional expertise that is needed to safely do business in a highly regulated, intensely scrutinized industry. Whether the matter involves a syndicated lending transaction, a financial institution merger, acquisition or formation, an acquisition of financial assets, the creation of a strategic alliance or the outsourcing of core processes by or to a financial institution, Sidley has led the way in some of the industry’s most innovative transactions.
Litigation and Enforcement
Our team has represented clients in litigation involving banking and financial services before the United States Supreme Court, the federal courts of appeal, federal district courts and state courts. We also assist with agency examination and enforcement before federal and state agencies and regulatory bodies such as the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Federal Reserve, FDIC, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the CFPB, state bank regulatory agencies and Attorneys-General, as well as the Financial Services Authority in the U.K. We have litigated nationwide consumer class action claims and defended our clients against regulatory investigations.
Our services include assisting clients with all of the following (specific examples are listed in connection with specific Areas of Focus):
- Forming and acquiring banks, savings associations and other depository institutions and obtaining regulatory approval for charters, federal deposit insurance and holding company registration.
- Purchasing or selling loan and payment card portfolios and the negotiation of program agreements, joint ventures and similar arrangements.
- Developing new products, services and distribution networks.
- Complying with federal and state laws regulating deposit taking, funds transfer and trust operations; making use of federal preemption of state laws; and developing of nationwide programs for mortgage, credit card, automobile and other financing activities.
- Undertaking multi-state licensing projects for delivery of money transmission services.
- Acquiring mortgage banking companies, finance companies, trust companies, broker-dealers, investment advisers and other providers of non-bank financial services.
- Corporate restructuring, consolidation of operations and interstate expansion.
- Implementing electronic and mobile banking and commerce, and electronic distribution of government benefits.
- Devising fair lending and community reinvestment compliance strategies, including in connection with examinations, investigations, protested applications and litigation.
- Addressing financial privacy issues, including the requirements under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, and the EU Data Protection Directive.
- Negotiating enforcement agreements and memoranda of understanding with federal and state bank regulatory agencies.
- Addressing public policy issues, including federal and state legislative and regulatory initiatives.
- Acquiring the assets and liabilities of failed institutions from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
- Complying with the interrelated federal and state regulatory schemes governing the sale of securities, insurance, mutual fund and commodity products by depository and non-depository institutions.
- Addressing anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) issues, including the development of AML/CFT programs, policies and procedures to comply with the Bank Secrecy Act, as amended by USA PATRIOT Act, as well as consulting on compliance with Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) regulations.
- Counseling clients on structural issues such as powers limitations, control questions, affiliate transaction limits and capital requirements.
- Advising on regulatory implications of entering into agreements with federal and state agencies to provide services to the government.