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Financial services, banking, and finance

Businesses in both financial services (FS) and non-FS industries are shifting their approaches when managing the global banking and finance regulatory environment — developing innovative strategies that carry long-term value is now essential.

Regulations surrounding financial services, banking, and general finance activities are expanding on a global basis. More governments are demanding greater transparency of information by imposing stringent requirements and more investor protection frameworks. The regulatory environment on a global scale is also becoming exponentially more complex, which is gaining the attention of more C-suites and boards.

At the same time, digitization of the financial services industry is occurring at a lightening-speed pace. Artificial intelligence now drives the way leading firms provide everything from customer service to investment advice. Digital labor, or robotic process automation, is helping firms automate things they couldn’t do before. As a result many legal functions, tasked with managing the complex myriad of financerelated compliance requirements, are asking whether they themselves should take better advantage of automation to enhance efficiency and value.

Other megatrends are also making an impact. The prolonged low interest rate environment is prompting many FS companies to look at cost containment as one of the keys to survival. FS (and non-FS companies alike) are also seeking top line growth. The resulting business transactions are requiring in-depth banking and finance expertise to minimize compliance risks and employ creative approaches to barriers and challenges.

Moreover, compliance obligations in the banking and finance area are getting broader in scope, applying to an expanding number of activities. Multinational enterprises that are not in the FS industry are increasingly having to address and manage these compliance obligations. As an example, activities such as cash pooling arrangements or commodities trading in other departments could cause banking and other regulatory requirements to apply.

In-house legal functions may be ill-prepared to address these unique and fast-arriving demands, placing burdens on companies that often have limited resources and expertise both domestically and overseas. Legal departments are seeking ways to satisfy these compliance responsibilities while also ensuring that their resources are focused on issues and projects that have a measureable value contribution to the bottom line.

ILC Legal, LLP, as an independent law firm in the PwC global legal services network, works directly with PwC professionals across the network to provide seamless multi-jurisdictional counsel, planning, and implementation in the banking and finance area

PwC’s global legal services network can deliver services that are tailored to your needs

PwC’s legal network:

  • Has over 3,200 legal professionals in over 90 countries — over 200 lawyers that are exclusively dedicated to providing specialist banking, regulatory, and compliance advice.
  • Provides a broad array of services and support for not only leading banks, financial institutions, private equity funds, and insurance companies around the world, but also to non-FS businesses and borrowers that have banking and finance needs and challenges across all industries.
  • Offers legal function maturity assessments for FS companies that can quantify risk, identify gaps, and review contributions to the value chain. Automation and other technology-enabled solutions and opportunities can be considered for those areas ripe for streamlining.

A sampling of PwC network services

Financial services

New financial regulations

  • Monitor, identify, and interpret regulatory and legislative developments
  • Assess impact on strategies and governance models

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Financial products structuring

  • Set up and advise on new financial products such as investment funds and special structures
  • Review and draft legal documentation, negotiate and arrange structural elements
  • Assist with modification of existing financial products due to on-shoring, migration, mergers, and dissolutions

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Marketing and product distribution support

  • Review and draft materials (e.G., Term sheets) for market testing, prospectus, and subscription agreements
  • Provide advice for all relevant jurisdictions relating to the full product life cycle

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Authorization and regulatory governance

  • Assist with obtaining required authorizations and dealing with financial markets supervisory authorities – whether entering the banking, securities, insurance, and fund industries, or expanding operations
  • Review, draft, and implement policies and governance documentation
  • Perform gap analysis based on an understanding of current operations and mapping against regulatory requirements
  • Review corporate governance frameworks and policies regarding, e.G., Financial intermediaries, conflicts of interest, market manipulation regulation, insider trading and disclosure laws

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FinTech compliance

  • Analyze legal framework of new business products and models
  • Find the right legal form for business or cooperation models by identifying critical regulatory points
  • Identify scope of licensing requirements; help with license

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Banking products and services

  • Help design and sell banking products (e.g., Drawing up contractual terms and advising on any legal risks)
  • Assist with the development of accounts for private clients, treasury products
  • Support trading businesses and investment banking
  • Resolve legal issues relating to building societies (home loans)
  • Identify special requirements of supervisory authorities

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General banking needs to facilitate operations

  • Assist companies (e.g., Treasury departments) reduce risk and legal uncertainty associated with general banking issues. This may include setting up or advising on:
    • Deposit schemes
    • Cash pooling arrangements
    • Cash management products
    • Foreign currency hedging
  • Assess methods to reduce relevant in-house and external resources by considering, e.g., Outsourcing

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Financing and debt

Counsel and innovative thinking for banks, financial institutions as well as borrowers from both the public and private sectors

  • Syndicated loans and bilateral financing
  • Acquisition and real estate financing
  • Infrastructure and project financing
  • Structured financing
  • High-yield bonds and bonds issues by private and public issuers
  • Promissory notes
  • Alternative finance transactions, such as leasing, factoring debt funds, insurance, cash pooling, and crowdfunding; aircraft financing
  • International football/sports financing
  • Analysis of covenants and potential reasons for termination
  • Letters of credit

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In-depth analysis and advice relating to finance architecture

  • Supply chain financing, project and trade financing
  • Asset securitizations and collateral agreements
  • Capital markets financing; compliance with legal and listing requirements
  • Eligibility for state-sponsored financing for public and private companies
  • Overarching finance governance and control policies and documentation such as anti-money laundering policies

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Other services

Insurance: Analysis and support

  • Solvency II European Union directive
  • Run-off portfolios
  • Financial products and other portfolios

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Extraordinary transactions: Mergers, acquisitions, and dispositions

  • Full scale support to address banking and finance issues from initial investment to possible exit strategies
  • Due diligence to identify potential need for restructuring or a legally secure repayment of existing loans and securities
  • Acquisition financing; negotiate terms sheets
  • Strategies for restructurings, recapitalizations, and resolutions
  • Licensing requirements for acquiring a financial institution

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* Note that the above list is not comprehensive, and each territory within the PwC global legal services network may have its own specialty areas.

PwC’s global legal services network has the largest geographical reach of any legal network with unparalleled access to experienced legal professionals around the world, making it a leader in the marketplace. However, it is the network’s approach and the value you will realize from it that makes it different.

PwC’s network brings multi-disciplinary teams with extensive experience

The PwC network has a broad array of market-leading professionals that can provide seamless advice and counsel, providing an interface between banking, regulatory, and tax law. Further, the expertise brought to bear can cross specialty areas that many traditional law firms do not have such as accounting, technology, and other consulting areas.

Delivering complementary advice tailored for the client

For financial institutions, the PwC global legal services network complements the knowledge a company has embedded in their in-house function and partners with those teams to ensure a symbiotic relationship. At the same time, our professionals have broad experience to support the legal functions that lack specialty regulatory knowledge because they are not in the FS industry (e.g., such as industrial companies) – those functions need more full-scale help with banking or finance issues.

Innovative answers using technology and tested methodologies

The PwC global legal services network brings extensive experience in the FS industry, combined with experience in the world of digital finance. Legal functions in the FS industry need process design, governance, and control solutions that are cutting edge and leverage technology to bridge the gap of satisfying not only current compliance needs, but also laying a foundation for the future. 

Never forgetting the ‘big picture’

It can sometimes be difficult to get ‘out of the weeds’ and the incredible detail of regulatory obligations and challenges. PwC’s global legal services network can provide both in-depth specialty knowledge on issues, but also practical answers that integrate the need for accurate compliance with operational and economic viability. All are crucial for developing a holistic and reasonable approach to compliance.

A proactive mentality is critical when it comes to risk

In today’s regulatory environment, C-suites have been lowering their appetite for risk, placing a burden on companies to find more ways to think strategically about their processes and governance frameworks. PwC’s global legal services network can help companies spot trends to better manage risk. For example, a financial institution may track an increasing potential for conflict due to growing customer complaints – the network can help quantify the potential risk and implement remedial strategies.

Contact us

Richard Edmundson

Managing Partner, ILC Legal, LLP, PwC ILC Legal

Tel: +1 (202) 313 8502