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Banking and Finance Law
Banking and Finance Law Definition
Banking and Finance Law in Russia is understood to cover two aspects of financial or quasi-financial institutions’ existence and activity – procedures for setting up and running such an institution (including, where applicable, licensing, management bodies approval and appointment, accounting and reporting, compliance with capital requirements and other mandatory ratios prescribed by the local financial markets regulator, the Central Bank of Russia) and actual financing activities (including bank lending, financial leasing, factoring, etc.). Therefore, Banking and Finance Law comprises public and private (civil) law elements.
Consequently, lawyers who practice Banking and Finance Law either concentrate on purely regulatory aspects or service banks and borrowers on transactional matters. This is normally reflected in Banking and Finance practices of international and major local law firms. A comprehensive Banking and Finance practice would include advising on regulatory compliance and pure lending, as well as securitization, payment systems, e-banking, bank secrecy rules, and data protection. At the same time, regulatory specialists are fairly rare in private practice as the large bulk of the respective work is traditionally handled by in-house lawyers. Transactional Banking and Finance lawyers advise on a variety of finance transactions – bilateral and syndicated (secured and unsecured), trade finance, asset finance, acquisition finance, and project finance. These may often contain derivative elements, such as embedded hedging. Assistance on micro-finance and consumer lending matters is very rare. Transactional Banking and Finance lawyers also assist with work-outs and restructurings as well as insolvency related matters. Occasionally, Banking and Finance litigation would be set up as a sub-practice.
Market knowledge and ability to think commercially and take pragmatic decisions are key for any transactional Banking and Finance lawyer.
Notably, with continuing development of the local syndicated market (and appropriate Russian law syndicated lending standards – so called “Russian LMA loan documentation”) a certain volume of less complex Russian law transactional work tends to remain in-house.
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