Home / Europe / United Kingdom / Financial Services & Regulation

Financial Services & Regulation

The daily challenges you face in doing business in a highly regulated, cost-pressured environment mean you need advisers who have an unparalleled understanding of the regulators’ expectations and are commercial, practical and industry savvy.

With leading practices in the UK’s two biggest financial services centres, London and Edinburgh, our team combines wholesale and retail, contentious and non-contentious expertise across banking, insurance, asset management and financial intermediation. You can be assured we understand the regulatory context in which you operate and recognise the importance of finding commercial solutions.

Our specialist regulatory lawyers advise retail and wholesale financial services firms on managing regulatory risk and resolving and avoiding regulatory action and disputes.

Having represented firms in over 400 regulatory investigations and enforcement proceedings, our team combines knowledge of regulated businesses with a clear understanding of what the regulators require.

We use that experience to help clients manage and grow their businesses through the development of new products, services and distribution channels.

RegZone is our award winning online guide to financial services and reform. It provides news, expert analysis, research tools, training and access to events. Register for free to receive a personalised service to your inbox.

“The team functions incredibly well as a whole. I feel CMS’s knowledge of what we do, our approach and the wider industry overall is exceptional.”

Chambers UK 2022, Financial Services

“They are a hugely practical and pragmatic team. They're very sensible, get to the heart of the issues efficiently and have a deep understanding of the market.”

Chambers UK 2022, Financial Services
Consumer Duty Toolkit – Annual Board reports
The FCA has made clear that the Consumer Duty should be a top priority for Boards. Boards must review and approve an annual assessment of whether the firm is delivering good outcomes for their customers by 31 July 2024. Firms should be able to demonstrate how their business model, the actions they have taken, and their culture embed the objectives of the Consumer Duty.  The annual assessment should include:   Before signing off the assessment, the Board should agree the action required to address poor outcomes, any identified risks and agree on any necessary changes to the firm’s business strategy. The assessment will be part of the evidence the FCA uses to assess a firm’s compliance with the Consumer Duty. The FCA may ask to see the annual assessment and Board attestation, including the supporting data and related Board minutes. These materials should be sufficiently robust and evidence a developmental mindset – showing how the firm is focussed on customer outcomes, gaps they have identified and necessary actions to improve products and services. There is no set format to the assessment. Different treatments will be required depending on the complexity of the business, its products and services, its customers and role in the distribution chain. Each firm will be best placed to determine how to present information. Firms will need to consider:Before the Board approves the assessment, it should:For more information and guidance on preparing the annual assessment, click the link below.
Future of Finance: preparing for the future of financial services
Finance and the regulation of finance has never been so complex, fast moving or fragmented. While firms are coming to terms with regulatory divergence and the ever increasing pace of reform, the wider context in which they are operating has radically changed. The emergence of generative artificial intelligence has jolted the industry awake to the risks and opportunities of new technologies, while digital assets, CBDCs, tokenisation and blockchain settlement promise to deliver radical change in the coming years. Firms must prepare and ensure that they can keep up with the pace of innovation and regulatory change.  CMS is a trusted adviser to both the world’s leading financial institutions and fast-growing market entrants, providing cutting-edge advice and helping clients to navigate regulatory change. Our Future of Finance hub brings together our latest briefings and thought leadership on the emerging issues that matter. Please contact your usual CMS contact or any member of the team referred to on the hub if you would like to discuss any of these issues further.
Law-Now: Financial Services & Regulations
Visit Law-Now for legal know-how and commentary


Next Generation Financial Services Networking
We are looking forward to hosting the second instalment of the Next Generation Financial Ser­vices net­work­ing event on Tuesday 24 September in our CMS London office. As part of this event, we will be sharing our thoughts and insights on the latest regulatory developments, followed by the opportunity to connect and discuss further over drinks and canapes. The event is aimed at junior/mid-level professionals (i.e. anyone below partner-level or equivalent) and will provide a great opportunity to connect, share insights and ex­pand pro­fes­sion­al networks. The topics discussed will include:CP24/2: ‘Naming and shaming’ subjects of enforcement – A look at the key aspects of the FCA’s Consultation Paper on publicising enforcement investigations, its key areas of impact and our thoughts on whether the FCA's proposals can achieve their objectives. AI in financial services: a regulatory overview – Consideration of the contrasting EU and UK approaches to the regulation of AI, the related regulatory guidance, current use of AI within financial services firms (opportunities and regulatory concerns), and the direction of travel. Privilege and disclosure: pitfalls and practical tips – Identifying the pitfalls for not conducting practices with the principles of privilege and disclosure in mind, providing practical safeguarding tips and discussing a recent High Court case that considered such issues. Looking ahead to 2025: what can we expect in financial services M&A – Considering the impacts of new regulation, ESG factors, technology, and the increase in private equity investment in the financial services space. A look at recent examples from the CMS Corporate team. We look forward to welcoming the next generation of financial services professionals!
Key Takeaways from our AI in Financial Services Panel Event
During our recent panel event on Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) in Financial Services, the panel explored how firms are implementing AI in practice, the application of legal, regulatory and ethical...
FCA overhauls the UK listing regime as part of the most ambitious listing...
On 11 July 2024, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published its final policy position and rules for a revised UK listing regime to modernise the existing Listing Rules.These changes follow extensive...
AI in Financial Services: Panel Event
Join speakers including experts from the CMS Financial Services Regulatory team, Tharishni Arumugam, Global Privacy Technology & Operations Director at Aon, John Bowman, AI Ethics Market Strategy Lead at IBM and Simon Man, former General Counsel at Deutsche Bank to discuss the increasing use of AI in financial services. Our panel will explore how financial institutions are implementing AI in practice, the application of legal, regulatory and ethical frameworks to AI, and potential challenges for firms and regulators. It promises to be an interesting discussion, with an opportunity for the audience to ask questions and share insights.
Analyse, Assess and Address – Regulatory focus on Private Equity
The Second Quarter of 2024 saw a series of publications by the Bank of England (BoE), the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) on potential risks the private...
Financial Services Webinars On Demand
View recordings of CMS financial services webinars available on demand.Webinars are a convenient way to stay informed and hear from our legal experts.Webinars On Demandmedium
FCA publishes Consumer Duty outcomes review – what do I need to know?
The FCA has published the results of its multi-firm review into Consumer Duty outcomes monitoring. Although the review concentrated on 20 of the larger insurance firms, the FCA’s observations are relevant...
Financial Services Webinars On Demand
View recordings of CMS financial services webinars available on demand.Webinars are a convenient way to stay informed and hear from our legal ex­perts. We­binars On Demandmedium
Artificial Intelligence in Financial Services
The integration of artificial intelligence (Al) systems within the financial services industry has the potential to transform business operations, improve customer relations, and enhance regulatory compliance...
Financial Services Webinars On Demand
View recordings of CMS financial services webinars available on demand.Webinars are a convenient way to stay informed and hear from our legal ex­perts. We­binars On Demandmedium
ESMA issues first formal guidance on use of AI in retail financial services
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) recently released a public statement on the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the provision of retail investment services. The statement provides...
Market outages: IOSCO good practices and key findings from global survey
On 5 June 2024, the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) published its Final Report on Market Outages, setting out good practices for trading venues and market participants in...