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Financial Institutions

Financial institutions have experienced sweeping changes in the wake of the global financial crisis. New capital and regulatory standards are transforming how the financial industry conducts business and how market participants access credit.

These financial reforms span the globe. In the US, Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Act and the nation's main securities oversight body, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), tightened requirements on Anti-Money Laundering (AML). In the UK and Europe, regulators have implemented the European Market Infrastructure Reform (EMIR), Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD), Capital Requirements Directive (CRD IV) and Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID). In addition, the regulatory strictures imposed by the Volcker Rule, applicable to any large bank operating in the US, and the Ring-Fencing requirements of the Vickers reforms in the UK are precipitating material structural changes within the industry.

Our Financial Institutions regulatory practice assists our clients in knitting together the patchwork of regulation in a way that enables them seamlessly to operate their businesses and serve their customers regardless of national borders. Our disputes and regulatory investigations teams represent our financial institutions clients in the litigation and enforcement actions spawned by the credit crisis including in the MBS, LIBOR and FX cases.

Financial institutions have been forced to re-examine the products they offer and the markets they serve. Innovation is seen as a differentiator and technology such as blockchain may prove to be a potential game-changer for financial services in the years to come, while rapidly growing financing sources like peer-to-peer lending and crowd sourcing may radically change the financial intermediation role banks play. Our leading capital markets and M&A expertise are invaluable to our clients as we help them to create and seize opportunities in this rapidly changing landscape.

With more than a century of advice to financial institutions and a presence in the world’s major financial centers, Shearman & Sterling is uniquely positioned to counsel and advise commercial and investment banks, private equity sponsors, hedge funds and corporate borrowers as they navigate these changes and the implications they have for businesses. Our world view and positioning give us a unique understanding of international issues and regional practices. For example, we were among the first law firms to offer guidance on how the possible lifting of sanctions against Iran (JCPOA) might affect our clients across the globe.

Shearman & Sterling combines cross-border expertise with deep experience in the global financial markets to help our clients structure their businesses, manage their risks, and serve their customers with a confidence that provides a material competitive edge.

Real Estate insights Rethinking US Financial Regulation in Light of the 2016 Election

Since the election, President-elect Trump and his advisors, as well as Congressional Republicans and others, have suggested a variety of aspects of US regulations that are viewed as particularly onerous and should be rolled back. Partners Reena Sahni and Geoffrey Goldman, counsel Timothy Byrne and of counsel Bradley Sabel outline areas to watch and examine the many pieces in place for potentially significant legislative and regulatory changes under the new administration. Read more >

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