Schwartz & Ballen LLP is a leading firm counseling clients on a wide range of financial services and banking legal issues. Our depth of knowledge and experience enable us to guide clients through the ever-changing legislative and regulatory environment affecting the financial industry. Our clients rely on our ability to formulate strategy and develop practical business solutions to complex legal issues, both with regard to ongoing business matters and emerging products and services.
We counsel our financial institution clients on legal issues relating to their business plans and transactions, including review and preparation of operating procedures and compliance policies, analysis of transactions, relationships between banking and non-banking operations, relationships with non-bank partners or third-party service providers, preparation and review of transactional or other documentation, resolution of risk-based capital issues, and securing approval from federal and state agencies.
We work closely with our clients on developing new banking and financial products and services, including review and preparation of customer agreements and terms of service. We also assist our clients in preparation of applications to state and federal government agencies and provide counsel on how to best structure transactions to facilitate regulatory approval. We evaluate and address evolving legal requirements relating to emerging products and services and assist in navigating potential statutory and regulatory hazards.
We work with our financial institution clients on an ongoing basis to ensure compliance of their existing and proposed banking and financial products and services with all applicable U.S. banking laws, including consumer protection laws and regulations such as the Truth-in-Lending Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act, Equal Credit Opportunity Act, and Electronic Fund Transfer Act; the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act; privacy and data security requirements; anti-tying prohibitions; programs established by the Federal Reserve and the FDIC to provide assistance and liquidity to the financial industry; the Bank Secrecy Act/USA PATRIOT Act and related anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing statutes and regulations; rules on affiliate transactions; investment and lending limitations; trust activities; the Bank Holding Company Act, National Bank Act, Federal Deposit Insurance Act, Federal Reserve Act, Home Owners’ Loan Act, National Credit Union Act, and other laws and regulations that affect the activities of financial institutions. We also work with clients on implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act.
We actively assist our clients with the regulatory examination process by conducting comprehensive pre-examination reviews of their operations to identify areas where improvement is needed and facilitate the implementation of changes. We advise clients on how to respond to examiners in order to resolve issues raised during the course of an examination as well as to provide defense for formal or threatened enforcement actions.