Silvana is a partner in Gilbert + Tobin’s Financial Services Solutions team, who cover the full range of front-end regulatory compliance, investigations, and contentious work.
Silvana has over 20 years’ experience as a financial services lawyer and specialises in governance, regulation, and conduct. She is a market leader in director and executive accountability and governance, alongside a broader practice in regulatory compliance, change implementation, investigation and remediation programs. She routinely advises on licensing obligations, product design and distribution, consumer protection and regulatory breaches.
Prior to returning to Australia in 2017, Silvana spent over 5 years as a manager and senior lawyer in the Enforcement Division of the UK regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). She brings to the table extensive experience in a range of prudential and conduct compliance matters, including enforcement actions against large financial institutions and their senior executives.
Accountability and Governance
Banking Executive Accountability Regime (BEAR) / Financial Accountability Regime (FAR): A Big 4 Bank and more than a dozen other authorised deposit taking institutions, including foreign banks:
Full end-to-end implementation of BEAR and transition to FAR, including delivering board and executive briefings, current state assessments and scoping, mapping of accountabilities against the backdrop of prudential and conduct requirements and internal frameworks, developed and implemented reasonable steps models, prepared BEAR/FAR handbooks, policies, procedures and guidance, advised on BEAR/FAR BAU operating models, established breach reporting arrangements, prepared and delivered scenario analysis for Boards and ExCo, developed and implemented arrangements for monitoring and reporting on the discharge of accountability obligations and advised on consequence management arrangements.
BEAR / FAR: Two other Big 4 Banks:
Post implementation assurance of reasonable steps for two major business divisions. Separately advised ExCo on accountabilities in the context of a current state assessment and uplift project relating the bank’s anti-money laundering framework.
BEAR / FAR: Two major and other general, life and private health insurers:
Full implementation of FAR and provided strategic advice to identify and mitigate potential FAR exposures. Provided detailed advice on accountability obligations, including those of accountable persons under FAR.
BEAR / FAR: RSEs and third-party providers of outsourced services to superannuation funds:
Full implementation of FAR. Developed and advised on the approach to identifying significant related entities.
Strategic issue and incident management, including regulatory investigations and interactions:
Delivered strategic advice to Boards and C-Suite on the management of issues and incidents, including identifying and mitigating potential BEAR/FAR and other regulatory exposures relating to payments system outages, large IT transformation projects, bank mergers, ESG frameworks and greenwashing, product governance arrangements, breach reporting, project management frameworks, business continuity management, claims handling and complaints handling frameworks.
Board (including subsidiary) and executive governance:
Advised on board and subsidiary governance, including in the context of prudential requirements, board delegations, oversight arrangements and management of conflicts of interests. Advised on operating model reviews, reviewed and uplifted board and management committees and charters, including in the context of organisational restructures. Developed and implemented delegation of authority frameworks, supervision and escalation policies.
Remuneration policies and consequence management:
Multiple entities in the banking, insurance and superannuation industries: Developed, reviewed and uplifted remuneration and consequence management frameworks. Advised on APRA Prudential Standards CPS 511 Remuneration, CPS 510 Governance and BEAR/FAR deferral and downward adjustment.
Regulation and Conduct
Product governance / Design and Distribution Obligations (DDO):
Big 4 Bank: Developed the bank’s product governance framework and associated procedures, ongoing product monitoring arrangements, review trigger and significant dealing processes, tri-annual effectiveness review model and advised on regulatory interactions in the context of the bank’s implementation of the design and distribution obligations.
Product governance / DDO: Non-bank provider of credit cards and BNPL products:
Conducted a current statement assessment and advised on product governance framework, amended target market determination and responded to ASIC requests for information on compliance with the design and distribution obligations.
Product governance / DDO:
Several recognised banks and insurers: Post implementation reviews and uplift of product governance arrangements across the end-to-end value chain.
Advised on large scale regulatory change implementation programmes, including in relation to breach reporting and complaints handling arrangements.
Remediation: Big 4 bank:
Advised a Big 4 Bank in connection with a large-scale fee for no service remediation programme, including segmentation and triaging of customers, conducting pilots to review and test scope, developing guidance manuals and assurance models for reviewers, advised on communications to customers and recoveries from third party representatives.
Routinely advised clients on remediations in the context of ASIC Regulatory Guide 277 Remediation.
APRA Prudential Standards and other requirements:
Advising on prudential legal and regulatory obligations, including CPS 510 Governance, CPS 520 Fit and Proper, CPS 220 Risk Management, CPG 230 Managing Data Risk, CPS 234 Information Security, CPG 229 Climate Change Financial Risks. Drafting submissions for APRA’s consultation on the proposed Prudential Standard CPS 230 Operational Risk Management on behalf of an industry body.
Regulatory investigations and enforcement
Leading multiple enforcement investigations and outcomes against major financial institutions and their senior executives, including in relation to:
- Foreign exchange trading
- Suitability of investment advice
- Suitability of mortgage advice
- Complaints handling
- Payment protection insurance
- Anti-money laundering
- Culture audits
- Failed remediations
- Failed investment funds
Critically evaluated multiple frameworks and remediation programmes in connection with the above matters.
* Experience gained at a previous law firm and at the UK Financial Conduct Authority.
Awards and Recognition
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