Expanding globally opens up new chances to grow, but it also means dealing with new stacks of rules across countries. Many companies and entrepreneurs overlook hazards hiding in those many-layered international banking laws.
And as tempting as it is to bury their heads in the sand, they frequently get slapped with big fines or stopped from crossing borders entirely. Don’t want to face the same fate?
This law insight piece reveals those hurdles ahead of time, so you can safely leap toward global success.
Consider mergers. When life sciences firm Illumina acquired the corporation Grail without European Union approval, it faced over $400 million in antitrust fines.
Or, take exports. Data storage provider Seagate sold drives to banned Chinese firms, violating trade controls and resulting in a $300 million U.S. penalty.
The pressures of compliance don’t stop escalating closer to home. In the U.S., regulators imposed stiff penalties for anti-money laundering breakdowns, with Deutsche Bank quite publicly paying $186 million.
This was no isolated incident, either – in 2023, 76% of financial institutions saw compliance spending rise, signaling tighter supervision.
These examples prove that when it comes to regulatory violations, you should expect the unexpected. And frankly, expect the expected.
So how can companies equip themselves to stay on course when it comes to international banking law? The most essential resource you can tap into is legal expertise from an attorney who can help you steer clear of legal challenges ahead of time.
Roman Law Firm recently guided an international payments fintech, whom we’ll call “FintechCo”, through chartering a U.S. national bank to expand stateside.
This journey illuminated key phases in entering a new market compliantly. To stay above-board, FintechCo worked with their legal counsel to:
- Evaluate their charter options: they considered an ILC, state, or national bank. This was based on ownership needs, state availability, and activity permissions.
- Fulfill rigorous application processes: across the OCC, Federal Reserve and FDIC lasting 6-12+ months.
- Meet initial and first 3 years of heightened capital ratio requirements: to ensure stability as a new entrant.
- Demonstrate their Community Reinvestment Act commitments: to equitable and transparent lending.
- Implement robust compliance programs: for complex anti-money laundering and Bank Secrecy Act rules.
While the process was far from easy, FintechCo leveraged experienced counsel to gain regulatory trust.
The result? A custom bank charter plan to accelerate their compliant growth in a new market full of potential.
International Banking Guidance: What To Expect
As regulations continuously evolve across borders – from GDPR to CCPA to approaching SEC climate disclosure rules – compliance is no small feat.
It’s no surprise, then, why financial institutions and their partners often need guidance on:
- Representation during regulatory compliance examinations & enforcement actions: Guidance for adhering to federal, state, and international rules can help respond to supervision inquiries or penalties from regulators like state banking departments, the FDIC, or the Federal Reserve.
- Support on international banking transactions: Legal advice for cross-border mergers, acquisitions, bank product contracts, establishment of foreign branches, and transactions involving foreign nationals can help navigate international agreements.
- Lending practice and consumer protection guidance: As consumer credit regulations tighten in multiple countries, financial players need assistance reviewing licensing or ensuring privacy and fair lending practices to mitigate compliance risks.
- Solutions for troubled banks and insolvency risks: When stability concerns arise and regulators flag issues, legal experts can outline effective corporate governance strategies involving distressed banks or resolution proceedings.
The list goes on. Compliance is no small feat, particularly when it comes to international finance. That’s why the support of a well-versed attorney or team by your side is so essential. They help spot gaps and forge connections, so you can more confidently enter new markets or offerings.
Armed with expertise tailored to your needs, you can turn compliance from an obstacle into a strength. With the right legal support, you can fully focus on serving your customers and expanding your global impact.
Our Legal Team Becomes Your Legal Team
When you engage Roman Law Firm, you are not just signing on with a single attorney. Our entire team of American-licensed attorneys is engaged in your case, whether directly representing you or participating in strategy sessions that invite thoughtful input, robust discussions, brainstorming, and risk mitigation. We do more than act as cheerleaders for each other. We studiously determine whether an argument or case is relevant, looking for weaknesses in our argument in order to ensure that we are offering you the most comprehensive representation available. Additionally, you also get the benefit of our responsive support staff. From our paralegals to our administrative staff, we’re all working in pursuit of your goals. We treat your case as if it is ours.
Our Law Firm’s Approach
Roman Law Firm will listen carefully to your concerns, review all supporting documentation and facts, then analyze the issues at hand using a modern case law approach that makes use of the most recent applicable legal precedents. Though this is common practice, there are some situations where statutory law is absent that make case law the closest thing to codified law available. We rely heavily on indicators of how previous courts have interpreted applicable law as well as cases showing trends and cases showing innovative interpretative methods in support of your position.
Controlling Authorities and the Banks
Banking litigation encompasses a wide range of topics and issues. You may be dealing with asset transfers, commercial or consumer collections, or mortgage lending, but your case may involve even more complex issues that reach into international banking law, cross-border mergers and acquisitions, trust companies, holding companies, and board of director topics. No matter the problem you’re facing, you can rest assured that we do not rely on bankers’ promises: rather, we rely on the depth of our understanding of fundamental concepts as well as the controlling authorities and regulations that financial institutions are required to comply with.
Our areas of practice include:
• Regulations – We are familiar with federal, state, and international regulations and represent banking clients before state banking departments, the FDIC, and the Federal Reserve.
• International banking – Our clients include foreign banks, holding companies, institutions that want to establish federal branches, international agencies, and foreign nationals in cross-border transactions.
• Bank products – We assist banks with structured sales and services to customers, contracts written with special attention to privacy, licensing, and consumer protection laws.
• Consumer lending – We have guided clients through the laws and regulations having to do with all aspects of consumer lending.
• Mergers and acquisitions – We represent financial institutions regarding acquisitions, consolidations, mergers, re-organizations, cross-border M&A transactions, and more.
• Failed banks – When bank regulatory agencies find banks and thrifts to be in troubled condition, we provide these organizations with guidance regarding corporate governance involving insolvency. We also help the officers of these organizations.
At Roman Law Firm, our knowledge and experience with international, federal, and state regulations has meant that numerous banking clients have turned to us for representation. We provide legal advice and assistance on matters ranging from structured sales to delivery of retail products and services. We prepare contracts, guide clients on issues of privacy, licensing, and consumer protection, and draft language dealing with information sharing, joint marketing agreements, networking agreements with securities brokers/dealers, and more.
Our Law Firm’s Philosophy
There are plenty of law firms that leverage their knowledge and negotiation skills in an effort to make the opposing side behave. It’s our philosophy that doing so is a waste of time when the law is on our clients’ side, so instead, we pursue legal redress in court where a judge can explain and enforce the law. As appealing as the idea of mediation and persuasion may be, in issues as important as those surrounding banking and financial regulations, it’s been our experience that putting the force of judicial opinions behind our arguments yields the most advantageous results for our clients.
Beyond litigation, we believe that our responsibility to our clients is to play both a proactive and protective role. Where problems exist we immediately act to resolve them. Where no problems exist, we work hard to ensure that you are always in compliance so that you can stay that way. This means assigning staff members to constantly analyze, strategize, and calculate your taxes in a way that optimizes your outcomes, minimizes your risks and costs, and eliminates red tape.
The Difference that Trust Makes in Attorney-Client Relationships
Every client – whether large or small, powerful or not, deserves an attorney-client relationship that inspires trust and gives them the confidence to move forward with their legal actions. There are few interactions that are more intimidating and complex than financial and banking litigation. That’s why the professionals at Ronan Law Firm work so hard to make sure our clients know that we have their best interests at heart and that we are representing them in the exact same way that we would represent ourselves. We want our clients to feel confident when they speak with us about their cases, understanding that we respect their input and that we are perpetually working toward providing them with the most powerful representation that we can mount.
Our clients value our expertise, our accessibility, and our experience as much as we take pride in what we are able to accomplish on their behalf. The professional relationship that we bring to the table is built on more than knowledge. We provide our clients with peace of mind.