Fintech

Our Fintech lawyers have been advising on technology-driven solutions in financial services for over 40 years. From the implementation of S.W.I.F.T. payments in 1973 to the advent of digital currencies, our clients look to us for expert advice based on our great depth of experience. It is testament to this experience that we have worked with such a diverse client base at all stages of growth, from early-stage start-ups to established financial institutions.

Our strong relationships with regulators, banks, insurers, funds and infrastructure and service providers mean that we understand the issues that affect every area of the financial technology ecosystem. This enables us to deliver incisive and informed advice across the value chain.

Selected highlights of our Fintech experience include advising:

Blockchain

From the implementation of S.W.I.F.T. payments in 1973 to the advent of digital currencies, our clients look to us for expert advice based on our great depth of experience. It is testament to this experience that we have worked with such a diverse client base at all stages of growth, from early-stage start-ups to established financial institutions.

Our strong relationships with regulators, banks, insurers, funds and infrastructure and service providers mean that we understand the issues that affect every area of the financial technology ecosystem. This enables us to deliver incisive and informed advice across the value chain.

Selected highlights of our fintech experience include advising:

  • a consortium of financial institutions on their project to develop a private virtual currency (the Utility Settlement Coin (the USC)) using blockchain technology, to be used for settling financial transactions
  • Finclusion on its development of a blockchain proposition in consultation with the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK within its ‘regulatory sandbox’
  • A leading market infrastructure provider as to the use of blockchain and its regulatory implications
  • An international investment bank on its internal policy guidelines relating to blockchain and Bitcoin

Digital Payments

  • Payconiq Holding B.V. on the joint venture between ING and KBC for the development and roll-out of the Payconiq payment solution in The Netherlands and Belgium.
  • Citi, Bank of America, HSBC and other global financial institutions on the development and global roll-out of electronic bank account management (EBAM) propositions
  • HSBC on its PSDII compliance project, the development of a digital payments bureau for institutional clients and agency banking customers and the restructuring of its global terms and conditions for use via its e-channels.

Digital Platforms

  • Barclays, Lloyds, Swiss Re, LV, Zurich, Aegon and other banks and insurers on the development of online distribution platforms.
  • Multiple online FX platforms, including designing appropriate booking structures, advising on regulatory licensing implications, drafting terms of business and client agreements, and obtaining relevant foreign regulatory advice.
  • Various fintech suppliers on product clearance advice in 20+ markets around the globe, including in particular, technology solutions to assist with anti-money laundering and KYC screening.

Regtech

  • an international online information provider on data protection and other regulatory issues arising from the launch of a new cloud-based KYC/AML product in several Asian jurisdictions
  • on the development and ongoing compliance of transaction reporting platforms such as Boat, Trax and Swapswire designed to meet regulatory transparency requirements
  • Thomson Reuters, Unicredit, State Street and others on the development of compliance utility platforms to provide services such as AML/KYC, Employee Trade Monitoring and FATCA compliance, the development of global data breach reporting tools and privacy e-learning tools to assist financial services clients with the implementation of effective compliance

Fintech M&A and IPOs

  • a U.S. venture capital fund on its acquisition of a stake in a fingerprint authorization payment business in China
  • Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance on the acquisition of ‘Insure The Box’ telematics business
  • Deutsche Börse AG on the full acquisition of the electronic foreign exchange trading platform 360T and bid for the London Stock Exchange
  • on the sales and IPO processes for esure, MetroBank, FlowTraders and the dual track IPO of Network International

Fintech JVs and Consortia

  • on the establishment of many consortia of financial services companies to develop new trading technologies, including those involved in the Turquoise, BOAT, OTCDerivnet and Swapswire platforms
  • FXGlobalClear on its joint venture with LCH
  • Clearnet, Monitise plc on its joint venture with Metavante, and S.W.I.F.T. on a joint venture with six banks in India to provide a domestic financial messaging service in India
  • Reliance on the creation of a variety of strategic partnerships to provide the network, m-commerce and content services required for its 4G roll-out in India

Fintech Financing

  • a U.S. investment group on a landmark deal with Funding Circle, the UK P2P platform, to lend £132m to small businesses
  • Deutsche Börse and Markit on their investment in IFM Fintech Opportunities LP and its investment adviser, Illuminate Financial Management LLP
  • The Bank of East Asia on its strategic co-operation with Tencent’s WeBank – the first officially launched online bank in China

M-commerce

  • Sainsbury’s on its award-winning Zapp solution, allowing customers to make real-time, in-store and online payments on their mobile phones
  • two pan-African mobile operators on the establishment of their mobile payments businesses, including m-wallet, remittance and top-up services
  • Vodafone on a joint venture with a Russian bank to develop a mobile payments platform
  • China Mobile on its development of a mobile e-commerce platform – included drafting complex licensing, software development and long term maintenance agreements
  • UK mobile operators on the creation of a consortium to offer a payments gateway to financial institutions and payment network providers

Event highlights 
  • We need to talk about blockchain, 23 May 2017. In this client seminar, Julian Cunningham-Day, Paul Lewis and Dan Turgel considered:
  • What is blockchain and distributed ledger technology? How do they work?
  • Examples of how the technology has been largely used to date
  • Examples of other applications of it, such as title to assets and identity authorisation (such as AML and KYC)

For those of you who would like a very short introduction to blockchain, we have a 10-minute learning video giving a high level overview of blockchain and some of its applications.  If you are signed up to our Knowledge Portal you can view it by clicking here. If you are a client of Linklaters, but have not registered for the Portal, you can do so by clicking here. Once registered, simply search for “Video: An introduction to blockchain”.

    • Africa Tech Summit, London, April 2017. Linklaters were delighted to once again be sponsoring the Africa Tech Summit, the leading African tech event in Europe providing unrivalled insight and networking with the African tech ecosystem. Alexia Christie, TMT Partner from Linklaters’ alliance partner in South Africa, Webber Wentzel, delivered the opening keynote on ‘the Face of Fintech in Africa’.
  • Fintech Week Tel Aviv, Israel, March 2017. Linklaters proudly sponsored the Blockchain, DLT & Smart Contracts day at the first ever Fintech Week in Tel Aviv, part of the growing number of Fintech Week conferences which we have been supporting for several years now. Niranjan Arasaratnam, TMT Partner, Singapore, joined a stellar line up of speakers at The Floor, Israel’s flourishing fintech hub.
  • TMT Finance Asia, Singapore, Feb 2017. Adrian Fisher, TMT Counsel chaired a session on Fintech Asia - Who is leading investment in Asian Fintech?
  • Fintech Festival, Singapore, November 2016. Linklaters was delighted to participate in this inaugural event hosted by The Monetary Authority of Singapore. Organised in partnership with the Association of Banks in Singapore, the week-long Festival – the first of its kind in Asia – brought together a series of distinct, back-to-back fintech events. The Festival provided a platform for collaborations, connections and co-creations within the fintech ecosystem in Singapore and around the region. For our summary of some of the key highlights from this event, click here.

  • Going Digital: blockchain, London, October 2016. The third in our popular series of highly topical breakfast briefings.

  • Digital Finance Berlin Konferenz, Berlin, October 2016.

  • FinTech Week, London, July 2016. Linklaters was, for the second year, proud to sponsor the Blockchain and Data and Cyber Security conference on Day 4 of the event. Click on the links below to view the videos of our sessions. London FinTech in Quotes - our wrap-up of the Week's events.

  • Data and Cyber Security for Financial Services

  • Blockchain Q & A: regulatory perspectives

  • Blockchain: Welcome to the Future, Frankfurt, June 2016. Linklaters hosted this successful seminar, providing valuable insights on the underlying technology, its use cases and the legal implications and pit falls.

  • Technology Trending: Digitising financial services—the impact of fintech, Singapore, June 2016. The first of this seminar series looked at the ways in which the financial services sector is responding to the challenges posed by developments in digitisation and the role of fintech and regtech in the current regulatory landscape. The session was presented by TMT Counsel, Adrian Fisher, and Financial Regulation Counsel, Peiying Chua.

  • Finnovasia, Hong Kong, May 2016. Singapore TMT Counsel, Adrian Fisher, gave a keynote address on the topic ‘The Growth of RegTech: Why is it becoming the Next Big Thing?’, and Singapore Financial Regulation Counsel, Peiying Chua, provided her insights on the panel discussion around regulation vs. innovation

  • Digitising Financial Services: Assessing the regulatory response and implications for legal and compliance teams, London, May 2016. The second in our Going Digital breakfast briefings considered the ways in which the financial services sector is responding to challenges posed by developments in digitisation and the role of RegTech and FinTech in the current regulatory landscape. The session was presented by TMT Sector Co-head, Julian Cunningham-Day, and Financial Regulation Partner, Sarah Parkhouse.

Further Reading 

Blockchain Reaction 9 months on: This updated Blockchain Reaction report by our Australian alliance firm, Allens, examines the blockchain landscape, covering topics such as how regulators are addressing the risks associated with DLT, potential interoperability issues, real-life use cases and the benefits of robust governance structures.

For Fintech, challenges and opportunities lie ahead: The wave of financial technology companies, more popularly called fintech firms, has affected our lives in many ways, including in Indonesia, as fintech offers simplicity, speed, cohesiveness and streamlined processes. Many fintech players, such as Doku, Uang Teman, Iwak, Tanihub, Amartha, Go-Pay, Investree and many more, are already offering a variety of services in Indonesia.

London Fintech Week 2016 QuotesFintech Week reminded us all about the massive scale of activity and creativity taking place in London right now. Regulators, incumbents, innovators and advisers are all in the mix, helping to make new financial technologies a reality for consumers and businesses.

Blockchain Reaction: A report by our Australian alliance firm, Allens, designed to assist business stakeholders, decision makers and in-house counsel across a variety of sectors to understand the technology and how it is being used, as well as navigate the regulatory and legal opportunities and challenges. Along with how distributed ledger technology should be governed and regulated, the report considers the key concepts, current and potential use cases, and the looming transformation posed by smart contracts. It also provides recommendations for businesses and regulators.

Fintech: the next wave of disruption: Adrian Fisher, Counsel in our Singapore office, looks at why fintech is such a disruptive force and the opportunities and challenges it presents for key market players.

Digitising Financial Services - Blockchain:  As part of a series of breakfast briefings, we have been identifying key areas of risk and opportunity for businesses that are increasing their use of digital channels, and providing insights into how to manage those risks and maximise the opportunities. This latest briefing looks at the transformative potential of blockchain on the market infrastructure and the impact that may have on the wider financial services industry.

 Partnerships 

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Tech UK member logo

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