Financial services & FinTech

The financial services industry is often under the competition law spotlight, whether due to antitrust investigations, joint ventures, market studies or regulatory developments. 

Increasingly, the tech giants are launching their own financial services products. They can leverage the control over their digital ecosystems, and may not play by the same rules as regulated financial services providers. This can affect both established banks and new-entrant fintechs. 

Who we work with 

Our team has advised both the largest banking groups and fintech start-ups. We can also represent individual members of staff of a company involved in a competition law investigation. 

We can help with all types of competition issues, for example the competition aspects of co-operation agreements, joint ventures and acquisitions, or how to deal effectively with the tech giants’ restrictions on your business. 

Our experience 

  • We have advised businesses through the whole range of competition issues including mergers, co-operation agreements, CMA market studies, European sector inquiries, abuse of dominance cases, and the development of the new digital regulatory regimes. 
  • We have designed and implemented new regulatory rules such as Open Banking, and also advised companies on how to approach their compliance with them and how to take advantage of the new opportunities that may arise from regulation. 
  • We have written extensively on this subject (see e.g. our paper entitled “Maintaining a Level Playing Field When Big Tech Disrupts the Financial Services Sector”) and can advise both established providers and fintechs on how to react to these challenges, including how to influence the direction of digital and financial regulation most effectively. 
  • We design informative and engaging competition law compliance programmes, drawing on our experience as former regulators to bring the training to life. 

How we can help 

Our firm’s expertise, in-depth knowledge and experience can help guide businesses through the entire lifecycle of these issues, from initial strategizing and influencing the drafting of the rules through to regulatory investigations and finally damages litigation. 

We can help you to ensure that you comply with competition law, defend you when under investigation, or object to competition law violations by others. We can help to guide you through the merger control process for your acquisition or joint venture. 

Our Team 

We are leading competition lawyers who are experienced in these issues. Our team includes the former legal director of the CMA’s retail banking investigation, which put in place Open Banking in the UK and has influenced similar initiatives in dozens of other countries. This initiative enabled consumers to use their data more effectively and stimulated market entry from fintechs. 

Tom Smith Competition Law firm Geradin and Partners


Tom Smith

(+44) 797 964 2347