Financial Services Regulation

The financial services sector faces unprecedented opportunity, as well as increased regulatory risk and enforcement activity, in the wake of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry. Gilbert + Tobin’s financial services regulation practice supports businesses that are participating in, innovating or disrupting payments, markets and platforms and infrastructure. We also advise participants on risk, compliance and engagement in a sector under increased scrutiny from regulators, focussed on demonstrating that they are strong on enforcement.

    Our Approach

    We have a deep knowledge of the regulatory, social and commercial challenges facing participants in this industry, as well as the numerous opportunities available to financial services clients. We provide full-service financial services offering to support clients through the full commercial landscape, from platform, products and transactional advice through to engagement with regulators, risk and compliance programs and investigations, and we have strong relationships and significant experience in engaging with regulators.

    Financial Services Advisory

    Our clients include traditional financial institutions looking to provide services that are quicker, cheaper and more responsive to consumer needs and regulatory requirements; and organisations looking to innovate and disrupt the way in which financial services are delivered, accessed and consumed. We have advised some of the most successful and ground-breaking financial services and fintech businesses operating in Australia. Our experience is varied across the lifespan of businesses - from workshopping very early stage concepts to build scalable and marketable solutions, to advising founder-held businesses through the process of obtaining VC or PE money, to working with functioning businesses looking to pivot into new product enhancements and service offerings.

    We also advise in relation to transactions and IPOs in the financial services and funds sectors and extensive experience in supporting these transactions.  

    Disputes + Investigations

    Gilbert + Tobin has an array of regulatory experts who are keenly aware of the regulatory landscape and who have been instrumental in advising on and shaping the future landscape of the provision of financial services. Our financial services regulatory team are recognised for our unparalleled work in disputes and investigations, including regulator investigations and enforcement actions. We are consistently engaged on the most business-critical matters to provide key strategic advice.  We bring a fresh, broad and strategic approach to regulator and government relations in close collaboration with our clients. We have worked closely with internal legal, risk and compliance teams and business stakeholders to address investigations in the past to ensure a holistic and outcomes-oriented response.

    Our experience includes:

    • Acting for Westpac in relation to the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.
    • Advising a major insurance company in relation to an ASIC investigation and proceedings regarding claims handling.
    • Acting for nib (a leading Australian private health provider) in Federal Court of Australia proceedings brought by the ACCC, defending allegations of misleading and deceptive conduct and unconscionable conduct in the sale of and changes to health insurance products. 
    • Advising a major Australian trading bank in investigations by ASIC and the ACCC, and their corresponding agencies in New Zealand, into allegations in relation to the global foreign exchange market.
    • Responding to inquiries for various clients in connection with a financial services investigation, by a number of international and domestic supervisory regulators, concerning conduct in relation to interest rate benchmarks in financial markets.
    • Representing companies and individuals in investigations by AUSTRAC into alleged non-compliance with anti-money laundering/terrorism financing laws.
    • Acting for financial advisory firms in regulatory investigations and private actions in relation to allegations of negligent or inappropriate financial advice, including non-compliance with relevant statutory requirements.
    • Representing a major Australian trading bank in investigations into suspected mortgage fraud and compliance with responsible lending laws.
    • Acting for financial institutions in legal claims relating to highly complex structured financial products.
    • Advising financial institutions on compliance with whistleblower legislation.
    • Representing a range of clients, in investigations by regulatory agencies into insider trading, market manipulation and other improper conduct in securities markets in Australia.
    • Advising on the Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s joint venture with Westpac and NAB to develop an independent digital payment app called Beem It.
    • Advising on KKR’s proposed acquisition of MYOB, which involved consideration of the regulation of non-cash payments in Australia.
    • Advising on Hong Kong Monetary Authority’s investment in various Barangaroo real estate projects, which involved complex analysis regarding scheme structures.
    • Advising PayPal in connection with its acquisition of HyperWallet, which involved consideration of the regulation of non-cash payments, integration issues and opportunities for further expansion in this sector.
    • Advising Blackstone in relation to the Australian regulatory aspects of its acquisition of the Thomson Reuters Financial and Risk business (including TradeWeb).
    • Advising Investa in relation to the Oxford Properties Group takeover of the Investa Office Fund.
    • Advising Xinja in relation to its establishment of one of the first neo-banks to operate in Australia.
    • Advising on the establishment and ongoing operation of The BRICKX Platform. 
    • Advising CoVESTA in relation to the establishment of a fractionalised asset investment platform.
    • Advising on the establishment of Graincorp’s Cropconnect grain marketplace.
    • Advising PayPal, Intuit, MYOB, BPAY (including in relation to NPP and Osko), Tencent, Blueshyft, Daimler, Relaypay, Rev Australia, Ailo Holdings (Ray White Group), Moneytech, Synthetix, and Westpac in relation to payment system solutions.
    • Advising BT in relation to the Panorama platform.
    • Advising Money Place Limited in relation to the establishment of its marketplace lending platform.

    Gilbert + Tobin ranked as a leading firm for Financial Services Regulation.


    Gilbert + Tobin ranked as a leading firm for Financial Services Regulatory.

    The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific 2021

    "They've been very responsive, very thorough and really helped us identify issues and to avoid red tape."

    Chambers Asia-Pacific 2021

    "The team’s responsiveness and turnaround time are very impressive," comments one client, adding: "They deliver a high-quality product."

    Chambers Asia-Pacific 2021

    Clients prize Gilbert + Tobin’s ‘unrivalled experience in large-scale matters in the financial services industry’.

    The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific 2021

    Highly regarded regulatory dispute resolution team with a strong following among financial services clients. Also active advising on front-end regulatory matters, with noteworthy capability in the regulation of new fintech products, including licensing for new financial products and digital payment systems.

    Chambers Asia-Pacific 2020