FinTech

 

Sector Focus

The financial services industry is experiencing an unprecedented technology revolution. With fewer regulatory constraints and legacy technology burdens than their incumbent rivals, young “FinTech” companies are disrupting established businesses across the financial services industry. Estimated global VC investment in FinTech businesses doubled in 2015, and is currently growing faster than investment in any other “fast-growth” sector. In our view, the impact of the on-going cycle of regulatory change, focus on reducing costs and ever-increasing consumer adoption of digital technology all mean that this trend is set to continue.

Simmons & Simmons’ longstanding focus on the Financial Institutions, Asset Management and Investment Funds and TMT sectors means that we have market leading experience at the confluence of those sectors. By using and combining our expertise within these specialist legal practice areas we are perfectly placed to advise companies in the FinTech sphere, from start-ups to some of the industry’s biggest players.

In May 2016, to demonstrate its commitment to the fast-growing UK FinTech sector, Simmons & Simmons launched a dedicated fund to help promising start-ups solve challenging legal or regulatory problems that could otherwise slow down their development or, in some cases, prevent them from getting off the ground. This is the first solution of its kind offered in the legal industry. More information is available here and a short video containing the thoughts of the founders of the businesses we have selected can be viewed below:

 

Experience

Advising:

  • Funding Circle on the establishment of a £350 million share issuance programme, the listing of a newly incorporated fund on the LSE’s main market
  • Funding Circle on a £129 million securitisation of P2P SME loans, a first for the European securitisation market
  • the British Business Bank on its consultancy role for HM Treasury under The Small and Medium Sized Business (Finance Platforms) Regulations 2015 regarding the designation of alternative finance platforms
  • Market Invoice on a range of matters
  • Suade on IP and commercial matters
  • a FinTech 50 company on regulatory, branding and other matters
  • a number of banks on the provision of funding lines to UK peer-to-peer platforms
  • an alternative investment manager on a significant investment by way of participation as a platform lender in ZopaGiffGaff (the Telefónica backed Mobile Virtual Network Operator) on its joint venture with peer-to-peer lending platform RateSetter to establish a bespoke credit process for purchasing mobile phones
  • a number of FinTech firms on various regulatory aspects of the new FCA loan-based and equity-based crowd funding regime which came into force on 01 April 2014, including becoming FCA authorised for the first time or carrying out a new type of regulated activity and the systems, structures and processes to put in place as well as the procedure for becoming authorised or applying for a variation of existing permission
  • Augmentum Capital on investments in Seedrs, Zopa, SRL Global, Borro and Bullion Vault
  • Oak Investment Partners and Merritech Capital on their investment into Wonga.com
  • on the spin out of the BlueCrest systematic trading business (including various funds) into a separate business, Systematica, headed by Leda Braga. US$8.9bn of assets under management were transferred and BlueCrest retained an ownership and economic interest in Systematica
  • Barclays and Canaccord on the £109m placing by Monitise plc
  • a leading UK retail bank on the launch of an innovative peer-to-peer payment platform
  • a major retail bank on agreements for the provision of a wholesale foreign exchange conversion and deal aggregation platform and services
  • SEI Investments Company on the outsourcing of the development and support of its wealth management platform and on major tenders to provide its white labelled technology platform and back and middle office services to international banks and asset managers
  • Blackstone and AnaCap Financial Partners on their proposed acquisition of a leading retail bank’s branch network involving very significant IT/technology based issues
  • Scotiabank on the acquisition of a prime brokerage trading platform and the subsequent sale to, and licence back of the same trading platform from, a global financial services IT vendor
  • on the development and regulatory compliance of innovative payments products in the UK, Middle East and on a cross-border basis
  • an international investment bank on the recent FCA/PRA survey of financial institutions’ cyber security systems and procedures
  • a major UK retail bank on consumer and e-commerce regulatory compliance for banking apps
  • numerous global financial institutions on their labour dispatch and outsourcing structures in relation to PRC regulatory requirements for the establishment of their software development / IT companies in the PRC.