FinTech is the term used for any technology applied in the financial services sector. Technology is increasingly being used to support the delivery of financial services, generating huge growth in the FinTech market. The UK is currently Europe’s fastest growing region for FinTech investment, while London currently leads New York in luring the largest amount of fundraising deals for FinTech companies.
Innovative business models and disruptive technologies have transformed the world of finance and its future. FinTech businesses face very specific challenges including: uncertainty over regulations, ensuring ideas are protected, concerns over cybersecurity and data, and imaginatively and effectively structuring commercial deals. Such innovation has spawned accelerated growth in the complementary industry of regulatory technology (RegTech).
Our experienced team of FinTech and RegTech specialists have worked with companies on their delivery of financial services via technology many years before the term ‘FinTech’ was adopted in the industry. We have advised on financial services for more than two decades, providing a wide variety of advice on current and emerging technologies. Our expert team advises on core areas such as M&A, equity financings, financial services regulation, data protection and privacy, intellectual property, outsourcing, employment and immigration, helping businesses adapt to the way FinTech and RegTech is revolutionising B2C and B2B financial services.
Our team works with established technology businesses, financial institutions and innovative start-ups. We help our clients to navigate a rapidly changing landscape, against a backdrop of increasing complex regulation – leaving them free to focus on innovating and scaling their businesses.
Our areas of expertise include:
- Structuring, funding and investing in FinTech start-ups.
- Capital raising and venture finance.
- Acquiring and disposing of FinTech businesses and their assets.
- Regulatory advice from GDPR/privacy issues to FinTech / RegTech (Authorisation / Licensing, Payments Services Directive, AML Directives) and emerging technologies such as Blockchain, Distributed Ledger Technology, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Smart Contracts.
- Regulatory authorisations from financial regulators and central banks, including the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI).
- Regulatory representation for firms dealing with FCA, CBI and Dubai Financial Services Authority supervisory and enforcement actions.
- Preparing and negotiating commercial contracts, including technology hardware, software and services procurement, outsourcing and off-shoring, and software development agreements.
- Preparing regulatory policies and procedures for financial institutions and FinTech, including ICAAPs, anti-financial crime manuals (including risk-based assessments) and compliance manuals.
- Identifying, protecting and exploiting intellectual property / brand protection.
- Employment and immigration issues.
- Commercial real estate.
- Resolving technology disputes, including by arbitration and mediation.
- Drafting and delivering training to the board and senior executives of regulated financial institutions on their personal, and their employers institutional corporate governance, anti-money laundering and data protection requirements.
- Enforcement and financial crime prevention at central banks and financial regulators in the UK, Ireland, Australia and Middle East.
- Providing risk, compliance and money laundering advice.
Our FinTech and RegTech team's experience includes:
- Advised one of Lithuania’s first specialised FinTech bank authorisations from inception of idea through to the bank’s successful registration.
- Advised on, and obtained numerous authorisations for electronic money, payment institutions and MiFID firms in the UK and Ireland, including in 2009 advising on one of Europe’s first new wave ‘FinTech’ disruptors on its application for regulatory authorisation prior to the introduction of European payment services law.
- Advised the European subsidiary of a major USA bitcoin trading business on its strategy for regulatory authorisation.
- Advised several Blockchain start-ups on corporate, commercial, employment and IP issues.
- Advised Paysafecard in a €1.1 billion acquisition of PE-backed Skrill Group, both significant UK financial technology companies.
- Advised STE Capital on its equity investment in Monese.
- Advised a private equity firm in relation to a multi-million Series A investment into a FinTech company.
- Advised The Financial Group (TFG) on peer-to-peer lending.
- Executive Directorship and Non-Executive Directorship of UK and Irish regulated FinTech including electronic money, payment services and MIFID firms.
- Advisory board roles at several FinTech companies (online escrow, payments & e-money, robo-advice) and RegTech (AML and Corporate Governance companies).