Banking and financial services regulation

Record fines now meted out in the financial services sector reflect the tough stance the regulators in the UK and elsewhere take to business misconduct and rule breach.  Our compliance, finance, funds and regulatory litigation teams provide commercial advice on the increasingly complex regulatory standards required.
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Our banking and financial services regulation practice advises on the full range of regulatory requirements and risks to which financial institutions are exposed.  We are not just a "rulebook" practice.  Our capability is drawn from the collective expertise and experience of many parts of the firm.  We advise not only on discrete areas of the PRA and FCA Handbooks, such as those relating to client money, but also on areas such as remuneration, market abuse, management and operational risk, systems and controls, and the prevention of money laundering, corruption, and sanctions breaches.

Recent instructions have included providing advice to institutions and individuals in the wake of the Banking Reform Act 2013 and the implications of the Senior Managers Regime, Certification and the Conduct Rules.

We have advised institutions on their relations with regulators, including their reporting and notification obligations under SUP and the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.  We have advised also in the testing areas of complying with compelled information requests and maintaining client confidentiality.

We use the experience of our renowned regulatory and financial litigation practices to identify how things have gone wrong and advise on the preventative steps an institution can take to avoid similar issues.

"The team has a deep technical understanding of the FCA and the regulatory environment."

The Legal 500 UK 2020

Regulatory reporting

Advising a Middle Eastern bank on compliance with the EU's Capital Requirements Directive and Regulations and the reporting framework established by the PRA in COREP to harmonise supervisory reporting standards.

Capital requirements

Advising a private bank with a substantial consumer credit business which fell into serious capital adequacy issues following a court ruling that its credit agreements were unenforceable and managing its liaison with the FSA. 

Authorisation and approval applications

Advice in relation to "non-routine" applications in a potentially litigious context, including preparing the client for interview by the FCA in a case where an individual was thought to be involved in LIBOR manipulation.   


Acting for financial institutions in relation to selling issues concerning retail products and designing schemes of arrangement to provide redress. 


Advising a third party mortgage provider in relation to the Mortgage Conduct of Business Rules and the standards required by the FCA in relation to the collection of arrears and foreclosure following complaints made by borrowers.

Senior Managers Regime

Advising a global retail bank on the scope of the SMR and the definition of "management", including the position of in-house lawyers operating at senior levels within a bank and on issues relating to multinational institutions.


Advising several banks in relation to the applications of the sanctions regimes to transactions and corporate structures, and challenging the legality of UK and EU legislation.

Proceeds of crime

Advising frequently on the obligation to make reports to the National Crime Agency, including issues relating to client confidentiality, legal professional privilege, and the risk of "tipping off".

Supervisory visits and section 166 FSMA

Preparing financial institutions for supervisory visits and responses to thematic reviews.

Anti-money laundering

Advising a Russian Bank and a UK private bank in relation to their anti-money laundering procedures.  In one instance, the CDD fell so short of regulatory requirements that a former state president deposed for fraud had not been subject to basic CDD steps.


Advising a global financial institution on jurisdiction aspects of its systems and controls to counteract bribery and corruption in its West African business.

Tony Woodcock Partner

T:  +44 20 7809 2349
M:  +44 7825 625 903 Email Tony | Vcard Office:  London

Latest news & insights

06 Nov 2018

From Insights

Key messages from the SFC’s new regulatory framework on virtual asset management, fund distribution and trading platform operation

It was reported by the Financial Stability Board that crypto-assets, such as bitcoin and ether, reached an estimated total market capitalisation of US$830 billion on 8..


01 Jun 2018

From Insights

New regulations for bounced cheques in Dubai

Unlike other countries worldwide, the laws of the United Arab Emirates allow for criminal penalties to be imposed on those persons drawing bounced cheques.


24 Oct 2017

From Insights

A review of recent developments and trends in FCA Enforcement (webcast 2017)

In this webcast, Alex Irvine, an associate in our regulatory litigation team, will consider some of the key developments and trends in FCA Enforcement over the course ..


31 Aug 2016

From News

Stephenson Harwood advises on landmark stored value license in Hong Kong

Stephenson Harwood has advised TNG on its successful application to the Hong Kong Monetary Authority for a licence to provide stored value facilities (SVF).


12 Jul 2016

From Insights

BREXIT: The MiFID passport

A significant part of the UK's financial services industry relies on the passport under the MiFID to provide its services in other Member States of the EEA. The loss o..


05 Jul 2016

From Insights

BREXIT: The AIFMD passport

The AIFMD creates a single pan-EEA regulatory framework for the managers of alternative investment funds. This overview considers the potential availability of the pan..


09 Jun 2016

From Insights

Deal or no deal

Changes to the notification of PDMR transactions and restrictions on dealings during closed periods, mean substantial amendments to DTR 3, the AIM Rules and the deleti..


09 Jun 2016

From Insights

A bird's eye view

Richard Small and Katherine Dillon provide an overview of the principal changes arising from the new MAR regime. This briefing covers the core elements of the current ..


29 Jan 2016

From Insights

Are a bank’s in-house lawyers senior managers under the SMR?

The FCA has confirmed that it is to initiate a consultation to clarify the circumstances in which a bank’s in-house lawyer has an “Overall Responsibility” function req..


16 Dec 2015

From Insights

Media coverage: LexisNexis - Controlling exposure to risk following Barclays' record fine

Alan Ward examines what firms need to consider in the context of the FCA actions.


© Stephenson Harwood LLP 2016. Any reference to Stephenson Harwood in this document means Stephenson Harwood LLP and/or its affiliated undertakings. Any reference to a partner is used to refer to a member of Stephenson Harwood LLP.