It is important for a business to understand whether it activities would bring them within the regulatory regime or whether it is possible to structure its affairs so that authorisation is not needed. Getting this wrong can have serious consequences both financially and in terms reputation. We advise businesses on a wide range of issues including regulated activities and financial promotions issues both in relation to a business’s day to day activities or when fund raising; whether arrangements constitute collective investment schemes; what constitutes an insurance contract; and whether a business’s activities are carried on “by way of business”.
FCA AUTHORISATION / VARIATION OF PERMISSIONS / INDIVIDUAL APPROVAL
Getting authorised can be a lengthy process. Spending the time up front can ensure that the application proceeds smoothly, reducing the number of follow up enquiries from the regulator. We have helped a wide range of businesses through the FCA’s authorisation and variation of permission processes including insurers; investment firms; consumer credit firms; payment providers; money issuers and credit reference agencies. We also advise individuals on approvals and other associated notifications.
REGULATORY RULES AND GUIDANCE
Setting yourself up correctly can save time further down the line. A key focus of the regulators is on policies and procedures and systems and controls, along with the requirements under the senior managers regime. We have a detailed practical understanding of the regulators rules and guidance and are able to assist firms in ensuring compliance with the regulatory requirements that apply to their businesses.
DEALING WITH CUSTOMERS
Treating customers fairly applies throughout a firm’s relationship with its clients. As a financial services law firm, we are able to assist clients in implementing and embedding Treating Customers Fairly and complaints policies and procedures along with providing important training in these areas.
INTERACTING WITH REGULATORS
Whether it’s making an adverse disclosure, dealing with the regulator in relation to a supervisory or enforcement initial enquiry, corresponding in relation to a full investigation, or other regulatory notification (i.e change in controller), we advise firms how to approach their interaction with the regulators and represent firms who are under investigation.
We advise clients on a wide range of commercial arrangements including distribution, agency, credit broking and funding, IT and other regulatory outsourcing requirements, along with other regulatory arrangements i.e. appointed representative agreements.
DATA PROTECTION / ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING / ANTI BRIBERY / CCA ENFORCEABILITY
Our financial services lawyers advise clients on the way in which these broader legislative environments impact on the financial services industry. We are able to draft and review policies in these key areas, as well as deliver training to our clients. We also advise clients how to deal with any issues of concern which may arise in these areas.
With ever increasing digital innovation the fintech space has gained significant momentum over the last few years in areas such as crowdfunding; e-payment platforms, e wallets, cryptocurrencies, digital banking, peer-to-peer lending and blockchain. The regime surrounding fintech is evolving and we are able to advise on matters including regulatory compliance, fund raising, consumer protection, and commercial contractual arrangements.
We advise fund managers on the structuring of funds, undertaking due diligence on funds on behalf of prospective investors, and advising management firms and individual managers on their compensation entitlements (e.g. carried interest).
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