Practice Areas & Industries: Greenberg Traurig, LLP


Financial Institutions Return to Practice Areas & Industries

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Practice/Industry Group Overview

The landscape currently facing financial institutions has been dramatically impacted by unprecedented events in the global marketplace. Greenberg Traurig's National Financial Institutions Practice Group is an interdisciplinary team of attorneys, including former in-house counsels, bankers and government attorneys, with domestic and international experience in representing financial institutions of all types. Our attorneys are experienced in assisting clients as they navigate the changing business and regulatory environment facing financial institutions, including advising clients in connection with new and reformed financial services regulations, increased regulatory scrutiny, distressed purchase and sale transactions, commercial lending, workouts, restructurings and insolvencies, and financial services-related litigation matters. 

Business and Finance Transactions and Restructurings

The nature of business transactions has changed with recent developments in the market. Our team is experienced in representing financial institutions in various types of transactions, including commercial lending, workouts, restructurings and insolvencies, purchases and sales of distressed assets and debt, capital-raising transactions and mergers and acquisitions. Our breadth of experience provides us with an understanding and knowledge of rapidly changing market standards for various types of transactions. Accordingly, our team is particularly well suited to advise and assist clients in this turbulent economic environment and beyond.

Commercial Lending and Leasing

Group members represent financial service providers and their customers in all types and sizes of commercial financings, including:

  • Syndicated and bilateral loans
  • Acquisition financings
  • Asset-based loans
  • Factoring
  • Project financings
  • Mezzanine financings
  • Equipment leasing
  • Real estate lending, including:
    • Acquisition and development loans
    • Construction loans
    • Leasehold financings
    • Multi-property and multi-state financing transactions

Workouts, Restructurings and Insolvency

We advise banks, private equity and hedge funds and other financial institutions on all aspects of reorganizations, bankruptcies, restructurings, workouts and buyouts. We represent distressed debt buyers in Loan Syndications and Trading Association (LSTA) and non-LSTA transactions. Our clients also include buyers who are interested in holding the debt for investment purposes and for taking control of the underlying companies. This area requires coordination and interaction among the Financial Institutions, Business Reorganization & Financial Restructuring and Corporate & Securities Groups to accomplish the client’s goals in the most cost-efficient method.

Formation, Mergers and Acquisitions, and Divestment of Financial Institutions

The National Financial Institutions Group is experienced in the formation and licensing of financial institutions of all types, as well as their expansion, merger, acquisition and divestment before the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and key state supervisory authorities, including:

  • Acquisition of assets from FDIC-intervened institutions
  • De novo organization of banks and thrifts
  • Non-bank subsidiaries
  • U.S. branches, agencies and representative offices of non-U.S. banks
  • Stock and asset acquisitions and dispositions of financial institutions and holding companies
  • Branch acquisitions
  • Liquidation of existing branches and offices

Securities Offerings by Financial Institutions

We represent financial institutions, financial institution holding companies and their subsidiaries in public and private securities offerings and compliance with securities laws, including:

  • Initial and secondary public offerings
  • Debt and trust preferred securities
  • Shareholder and employee stock plans
  • Sarbanes-Oxley matters
  • Periodic SEC reporting

Swaps and Derivatives

The National Financial Institutions Group structures complex derivative products in both the conventional and municipal markets, including:

  • Interest rate, currency, equity, fixed income and commodity swaps
  • Caps, floors, collars and rate locks
  • Total return swaps
  • Credit default swaps
  • First to default swaps
  • Accreting basket swaps
  • Puts, calls, knock-in and knock-out options
  • Swaptions
  • Variance swaps
  • Warrants
  • Synthetic securities
  • Forward contracts, prepaid variable forwards and futures contracts
  • Guaranteed investment contracts
  • Benefit responsive investment contracts
  • Other Business Needs

The Changing Regulatory Landscape

A number of new and proposed regulatory reforms will impact financial institutions, directly and indirectly. Our Financial Institutions Practice, including attorneys from GT’s Governmental Affairs Practice, monitor executive and legislative branches of federal, state, and local governments, so that our attorneys are able to provide strategic planning and analysis and interpretation of legislation, amendments, administrative rules to clients as the regulatory landscape changes.

In addition, our Financial Institutions attorneys counsel clients in connection with federal and state banking laws and regulations, including:

  • Bank Holding Company Act and Regulation Y
  • Bank Secrecy Act, including the recent USA PATRIOT Act amendments
  • Change in Bank Control Act and Bank Merger Act
  • National Bank Act
  • Federal Reserve Act, including Sections 23A and 23B and Regulation O
  • Federal Deposit Insurance Act (including FIRREA and FDICIA)
  • International Banking Act, Foreign Bank Supervision Enhancement Act and Regulation K
  • Gramm Leach Bliley Act
  • Community Reinvestment Act
  • Consumer protection laws and regulations such as Truth in Lending, Equal Credit Opportunity
  • Real Estate Settlement Procedures and Fair Credit Reporting

We have represented regulated financial institutions (and their officers and directors) in connection with critical examination reports and enforcement actions relating to capital, asset quality, management, compliance and other issues. With offices in government hubs, we consult regularly with the staffs of the OCC, FDIC, Federal Reserve, OTS, SEC, HUD, U.S. Department of the Treasury, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and state banking and securities agencies to give our clients the most practical solutions to their legal and regulatory issues.

The National Financial Institutions Group also represents consumer financial service providers in:

  • Federal and state regulation of consumer credit and other financial services
  • Residential mortgage lending and servicing
  • Defense of consumer litigation
  • Electronic lending
  • Privacy and information security
  • Credit, debit and stored value card system issuance, processing and operations
  • Automotive, boat and manufactured housing indirect lending
  • Product development, implementation and maintenance

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Task Force

The  mandate of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), created by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, is to implement and enforce federal consumer financial law. Greenberg Traurig closely monitors the  CFPB's activities,  including  the robust discussion and  almost daily movement on multiple industry fronts the CFPB  makes as it redefines consumer finance law. An entirely new system has been and is being created for the consumer financial services industry. Once complete, the question will be, "How does our clients’ business match up?" Our GT CFPB Task Force regularly observes and analyzes the actions of the CFPB in order to advise clients in best practices for the days ahead.

CFPB's authority includes writing and issuing new rules, and interpreting virtually all federal consumer protection laws. It also has expanded reach to execute fair lending examinations and the power to prohibit "abusive actions." Its power includes subpoena and civil investigative demand (CID) authority, and the ability to file enforcement actions in U.S. District or state courts seeking relief including significant monetary fines. The CFPB is actively issuing CIDs as it continues to examine specific practices and a wide variety of industries.

Companies affected by CFPB include more than banks. Non-banks and service providers face the prospect of federal and state regulation that, until now, had not been affected. These companies will need to put in place new risk management processes and compliance procedures. Greenberg Traurig's interdisciplinary approach and expansive geographical reach enable us to offer clients the strategic insight they are looking for in this environment of increased and expanded regulation.

Our clients in the consumer finance sector who are affected by CFPB include:

  • Large Banks and their affiliates
  • Mortgage lenders and servicers 
  • Payday and consumer lenders
  • Electronic payment and money services businesses
  • Prepaid card issuers 
  • Private student lenders
  • Debt collectors
  • Vendors that act as "service providers" with regards to any of the covered entities that offer consumer financial products or services


Greenberg Traurig’s Financial Services Litigation Group represents clients in all facets of financial services litigation. Our national team of experienced litigators has represented banks, consumer finance companies, debt collectors, credit card issuers, and mortgage lenders and servicers in a wide variety of individual and class action disputes involving state and federal consumer protection laws including unfair deceptive trade practices, privacy issues, consumer fraud, breach of contract, disclosure violations, loan servicing, lender liability, debt collection, and credit reporting practices. Our clients range in size from some of the nation’s largest financial institutions to small closely-held corporations.

Our Financial Services Litigation attorneys are experienced in counseling clients in connection with the following:

  • Truth in Lending Act
  • Fair Credit Reporting Act
  • Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
  • Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act
  • Lender Liability
  • Abusive Lending Practices
  • Unfair Deceptive Trade Practices
  • Usury
  • State Regulatory Law Violations
  • Mortgage Foreclosures
  • Inter-Creditor Disputes
  • Equal Credit Opportunity Act
  • Privacy and Information Security Issues


Services Available

Group Presentations
  ABA 2009 Consumer Financial Services Winter Meeting, Scottsdale, Arizona, January 11, 2009
Past Seminar Materials
  OffshoreAlert Financial Due Diligence Conference - 7th Annual , Miami Beach, Florida, April 26, 2009
IIB Annual Seminar: Risk Management and Regulatory Examination/Compliance Issues, New York, New York, October 21, 2008