Regulatory and Financial Services Disputes

We advise financial services organisations and individuals regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA). We also help businesses and individuals address concerns relating to advice they have received or specific financial products.

For those not meeting the regulators’ standards there are potentially significant consequences such as fines and prohibition as well as lost management time that could have been spent on growing the business rather than rectifying issues, handling bad publicity and rebuilding reputation.

Our regulatory lawyers have all worked for enforcement teams within the regulators as well as in the litigation and regulatory teams of major financial institutions. We have worked on a broad range of disputes including interest rate hedging product mis-selling, tailored business loans and authorised push payment fraud. We also advise on Libor transition, insurance coverage and Covid-19 related queries.

This first-hand experience, combined with early engagement and a focus on minimising disruption, ensures our clients are prepared to deal with regulatory investigations and financial services disputes as effectively as possible.

Areas we regularly help clients include:

  • Supporting businesses and individuals in financial services disputes both through the pre-action stage and following issue of court proceedings.
  • Advising businesses and individuals in relation to complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
  • Supporting businesses and individuals who are the subject of a regulatory investigation. Our Regulatory Team advise throughout the process from document review and compelled interviews through to conclusion.
  • Supporting senior executives when required to attend interview by their regulators prior to approval. Assisting in preparation for interviews, the interview process and the right to make representations.
  • Carrying out internal investigations for businesses where concerns have been raised either by a whistleblower or external regulatory body. Advising business areas around document retention and potential production. Conducting interviews and where necessary coordinating a response to the regulator.
  • Advising businesses on policies, procedures and practices on such areas as remuneration and outsourcing to ensure best practice and regulatory compliance.
  • Assisting business and individuals with responsibility mapping and statements of responsibility under the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR). Advising on the annual certification of individuals’ fitness and propriety and any interim issues surrounding fitness and propriety.

Examples of previous work include:

  • Financial Services Litigation - advising regulated firms on a variety of matters including allegations of professional negligence, claims relating to tailored business loans, mistaken payments and allegations of interest rate hedging products mis-selling.
  • Financial Ombudsman Service - advising on a number of Financial Ombudsman Service complaints including those relating to a family legal protection policy, authorised push payment fraud and disability insurance cover.
  • Regulatory References - advising on the rules governing regulatory references and the appropriate approach to references and consequences for individuals.
  • Internal Investigation - leading an internal investigation and coordinating response within agreed timeframes and advising around document retention and production.
  • Regulatory Investigations - advising the subject of a major regulatory investigation by the FCA.
  • Redress Exercise - advising on next steps following the issue of an FCA Final Notice and supporting compliance, communications and project teams on a customer contact exercise, provision of customer redress and annual review process. Approving customer correspondence, internal scripts for staff and FAQs prior to submission to the designated s.166 Skilled Person and the FCA.
  • Regulatory Powers - advising on the imposition of requirements and variation of an insurance firm’s permission on the regulator’s own initiative.
  • Money Laundering - participant in the Joint Money Laundering Intelligence Taskforce. Advising the Financial Crime Team of a major institution on project scope, relevant legislation and the terms of agreement between participating organisations.
  • Internal Procedures - drafting internal procedures on consumer credit complaints with reputational interest and advising on responses to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
  • Regulatory Interviews - advising on the interview process and opportunity to make representations following interview by the regulators of a company secretary and the CEO of a global deposit taker. Advising on the second interview by the regulator for senior role at a recognised clearing house. Advising senior individuals on the legal context for the interview and consequences and procedure in the approval and rejection process.

For more information please contact Charlie Herbert at (0)20 7778 7231 (London-City) or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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