PwC Legal’s Financial Institutions Regulatory Europe Team

PwC Legal’s Financial Institutions Regulatory Europe (FIRE) Team are trusted advisors to financial services firms and market participants doing business in or from the EU-27. Our FIRE Team is supported by our Frankfurt based European Regulatory Compliance Operations and Regulatory Engagement (EU RegCORE ) Centre, which provides clients with in-depth analysis on the rulemaking and supervisory priorities of EU-level regulatory policymakers and supervisors. Both PwC Legal’s FIRE Team and EU RegCORE are complemented by the further multidisciplinary expertise provided by financial services consultants from PwC’s Advisory and Assurance practices.

The FIRE Team advise new entrants and established brands operating in traditional asset classes and established markets but also FinTech firms, notably those active in the digital and crypto-assets financial services space. We help clients to navigate challenges and seize opportunities throughout the increasingly complex, competitive and rapidly changing regulatory, supervisory and business environment in which they operate.

Our FIRE Team members are multijurisdictionally qualified, multilingual and have an in-depth knowledge of complex legal frameworks and how these interoperate across multiple market sectors in which global as well as EU headquartered financial services firms and their own counterparties and clients operate. We advise on every aspect of banking, securities, asset management, insurance and financial markets regulation as well as on the national and EU legal and regulatory requirements governing capital markets and financing transactions notably with respect to structured finance, securitisation, derivatives and securities financing as well as prime brokerage and custody.

A number of our lawyers have also worked in-house or on secondment with our financial services clients or at regulatory and supervisory authorities. Our lawyers have first-hand experience in both the design of regulatory policy and legislative drafting as well as supporting clients through design and deployment of compliance frameworks as well as the delivery of complex cross-border remediation projects or crisis management response projects as well as responding to regulator-led recovery and resolution exercises.

The strength of PwC’s global network provides our clients access to teams of highly specialised legal and regulatory consulting practitioners present on the ground across the EU-27 and Europe more generally. Our global network provides clients with a unique, all-round legal full-service practice that is essential at a time of tremendous change for the financial services industry. We are in constant dialogue with regulators and supervisors as well as self-regulatory bodies and industry associations to help clients adapt to dynamic global market conditions.

Our specialisms

Both our FIRE Team’s and EU RegCORE’s extensive experience of acting for clients in a domestic and cross-border context includes the following specialisms in which we regularly are retained to assist:

“Build the business” work
  • Assisting in all aspects of bank and nonbank licensing options and projects for traditional financial services providers
  • Supporting clients with evolving licensing options and regulatory strategies for FinTechs and other nonbank financial services providers including specifically crypto-asset service providers
  • Assisting clients with the regulation and supervision of payment service providers, broker-dealers, investment advisers, investment funds, derivative dealers, underwriters and (re-)insurance firms
  • Assisting with new product approval processes
  • Managing regulatory approvals in the context of M&A as well as change in control applications
  • Advising clients on the impact from enhanced prudential standards, resolution planning, ring-fencing, consumer financial services and COVID-19 relief, AML and internal systems and controls
  • Transactional experience with new products and services, distribution arrangements, partnerships, client platform development and other services involving regulatory issues
“Run the business” and “change the business” work
  • Designing and documenting firms’ Target Operating Models (TOMs), three lines of defense frameworks (3LoD) OMs, 3LoD and enterprise risk management (ERM) systems for control functions (governance, risk and compliance)
  • Counselling clients on their custody and client money questions and counterparty-facing documentation
  • Supporting firms with their FinTech (e.g., crowdfunding, crypto/digital-assets) and RegTech projects
  • Assisting firms with the impact from rules on individual accountability, including senior management and corporate governance
  • Providing firms with support with their traditional and digital operational resilience arrangements
  • Supporting new product launches and new market entrances and selling restrictions
  • Designing and implementing regulatory outsourcing, operational support and delegation structuring arrangements and related documentation
  • Assistance with asset and wealth management (AIFMD, KAGB and UCITS) questions
  • Supporting risk-free rate transition in order to comply with the EU Benchmarks Regulation and other global IBOR replacement priorities
  • Advising firms on market conduct and market abuse questions
  • Supporting firms with their market infrastructure and post-trade arrangements
  • Assistance with drafting policies and procedures in dealing with retail clients, consumers as well as those that are vulnerable customers
Transaction regulatory support
  • Drafting, negotiation and execution of Banking and finance transactions, including banking regulation issues including: CRR-related advice, including the issuance of own funds, optimisation of regulatory ratios and exposure limits – We work closely with PwC’s Risk and Regulation team and the dedicated Quantitative Risk Analytics capabilities
  • Drafting, negotiating and executing derivatives and securities financing transactions – structuring, negotiation and documentation of hedging and non-hedging transactions
  • Structuring, drafting and executing structured finance and securitisation transactions
  • Drafting and reviewing commercial contracts and financial services (incl. Prime Brokerage) terms and conditions
Digital transformation projects
  • Incorporating digital processes, products and services, including payments services
  • Adopting AI-driven RegTech and SupTech solutions
Data privacy and cybersecurity priorities
  • Data breach preparedness, incident response and disputes
  • Regulatory compliance, including GDPR, NIS2 Directive, and US federal and state breach and privacy requirements
Anti-financial crime prevention
  • National and cross-border anti-financial crime risk assessments, remediation and compliance with key local and international regulations
  • Supporting clients with their compliance efforts with sanctions and anti-bribery and corruption controls
  • Developing, implementing and overseeing compliance with AML/KYC/CIP/CDD/beneficial owner programs
  • Managing third-party vendor financial crimes risk/exposur
Responding to enforcement, investigation and supervisory reviews of firms
  • Regulatory, supervisory, enforcement and compliance inquiries/material risk reviews/gap analyses
  • Extraterritoriality of anti-corruption, anti-money laundering and sanctions laws
  • Current expectations of enforcement authorities for self-reporting, cooperation and remediation
Contentious work
  • Advising clients on administrative and court proceedings against decisions by regulatory authorities
  • Providing firms with support from: adverse supervisory engagement, contentious disputes and investigations as well as regulated complaints
Crisis management measures
  • Assisting with drafting of solvent wind-down exit plans as well as recovery and resolution plans
Specialist training
  • Delivering staff training to financial services firms for members of the management and the supervisory board, compliance departments, traders and marketing departments on regulatory matters
  • Assisting clients with the design and deployment of internal training run programs.
Regulatory advocacy
  • Cross-border legislative/regulatory policy development
  • Developing and advocating for FinTech/RegTech solutions