Our team at Hoffmann Liebs has a long-standing experience, a first-class reputation in providing competent and comprehensive advice to banks, savings banks, financial service providers and FinTechs in all areas of banking law and financial supervision law. Our particular expertise is based on the previous experience of our partners with banks. The experience and insights gained are important elements of our well-founded legal advice. In these multifaceted areas of law, we provide you with practical and effective solutions in every situation – regulatory, organizational and operational – and support you in all matters.
Our expertise: Banking Law and Financial Regulation Law, FinTechs
Financial regulation law for banks and financial services institutions
The requirements of financial supervision law play an important role for the business of banks and financial service providers as well as for their management boards, employees and customers.
We have in-depth knowledge of banking supervision law and many years of experience with financial supervision institutions. The focus of our advice is on licensing issues (KWG, ZAG) for start-ups, legal issues relating to the management of institutions (manager qualification, dismissal, prohibition of activities), complaints or other disputes with banking supervision and auditing as well as the assessment of foreseeable developments. In addition, we advise institutions on compliance with legal requirements in financial sales (WpHG, VermAnlG, etc.).
The Internet is revolutionizing the financial industry. Paying, investing, borrowing – all current financial services are undergoing digital change. Classic banking products are now offered online by a large number of bank-like FinTech companies, often even cheaper and more user-friendly. Banks, for their part, open up new, innovative business fields as cooperation partners of FinTech companies. Investors are looking for investment opportunities in promising start-ups in the financial sector. Robo-Advisory, Crowdfinance, Payment Services, Blockchain or Cryptocurrencies are the buzzwords of the moment.
The financial sector has always been highly regulated. For many companies, this means a regulatory jungle of the most diverse regulations that is hardly manageable. Failure to comply with these regulations can lead to the failure of a business idea and severe penalties. Knowledge and experience in this field are therefore indispensable for FinTech entrepreneurs, for banks as their cooperation partners and for investors as financiers of FinTech companies.
Hoffmann Liebs Fritsch & Partner has been advising and supporting both young and established companies in the financial sector for many years in the challenging task of successfully operating online with digital financial products in the regulatory environment. When the Internet began to conquer the financial market, we were there from the very beginning.
We have already accompanied successful FinTech companies on their way to market leadership. We understand technical processes of digital business models and show what is possible without regulation and where the regulated area begins. As a FinTech company, we support you in implementing your business idea in a legally compliant manner, whether alone or together with a supervised partner, or if you are aiming for licensing yourself.
We take over the communication with the regulatory authorities for you. We know which regulatory requirements banks have to meet in order to digitise their business areas and how they can structure their business organisation in accordance with supervisory law for cooperation with FinTech companies. As a bank, we advise you on your entry into new digital business fields and cooperation with FinTech companies.
After all, we are familiar with the issues that regularly preoccupy investors before investing in FinTech start-ups. For you as an investor, we examine the regulatory pitfalls of your target start-up in order to increase your investment opportunities and reduce your risks.
Lending business and credit protection
Since German companies traditionally finance themselves to a large extent through bank loans, consulting on all aspects of the credit business – including international aspects – is part of our daily practice. This often involves questions of documentation and the provision of collateral, without which even today hardly any credit is granted.
Our range of consulting services in this area is rounded off by our experience in factoring, leasing and export financing.
Real estate and project financing
Comprehensive advice on the financing of large national and international real estate transactions and projects is a major part of our activities.
Our expertise in structuring is in demand here, also from a tax point of view. The standard loan and collateral agreements customary in the industry are optimised above all from the point of view of banking contracts, company law and insolvency law in order to avoid or minimise legal risks.
In addition, we work closely with the firm’s other experts in the areas of civil and public building law and commercial tenancy law.
Investment advice and prospectus liability
Equipped with in-depth knowledge of the capital markets and the investment products distributed on them, we advise in particular on questions of the legally compliant structuring of the distribution of investment products and on failed financial investments. Difficult valuation questions often arise, which we solve together with specialized auditors.
We also have many years of proven experience in court disputes (e.g. mass proceedings) and in the design of out-of-court solutions.
Asset management and investment law
As special forms of capital investment, individual asset management by a credit institution and institutional asset management by investment companies involve a large number of special legal features.
This is why we advise institutional investors in every investment phase: in contract design and the selection of investment guidelines, in the ongoing monitoring of compliance with these requirements and – in the event of poor performance – in the investigation of causes and the enforcement of compensation claims.
Innovative financing instruments and derivatives
Loans and financial investments are often optimised or hedged with derivative financing instruments. We have extensive expertise with regard to the products available on the international markets, their mode of operation and the respective documentation.
Our advice includes the selection of suitable instruments and their documentation as well as the determination of causes and the compensation of damages in the event of application errors.
Liability of bank and savings bank managers
In banking crises, claims for damages increasingly focus on executive boards and members of supervisory bodies.
Therefore, we advise banks, savings banks and associations on questions of manager liability and insurance claims arising from D&O as well as pecuniary loss insurance, including judicial assertion.
Bank restructuring and deposit insurance
Unfortunately, banking crises are no longer isolated cases. We specialise in advising on the planning and implementation of restructuring measures.
We pay particular attention to the relationship between the bank’s governing bodies and the security institutions. In addition, we have extensive expertise in problems in connection with bank insolvency, including deposit insurance.