Banks & Financial Institutions

In this section

Collaborating for economic stability

Banks and financial institutions are playing a critical role in stabilising Australia's economy in the midst of global uncertainty – they are providing financial resilience at a time of significant geopolitical and economic change. The industry is also taking a long-term view, and working pragmatically with its customers to help businesses remain viable and keep people in their homes. This includes providing fairer and more sustainable financial products and services.

As the impact of climate change and sustainability remains a primary focus of global markets, the industry is acutely aware of its role in ESG, including the risks and opportunities it presents for customers and investors.

These issues are front of mind for regulators as well, and the industry must be transparent in managing both conduct risk and ESG risks as early as possible.

How we can help 

We work with our clients as a strategic partner. In an evolving landscape, we aim to provide you with nimble and practical advice – both in relation to the law and commercial dynamics.

Solutions not only for you but your clients

Helping customers and investors succeed is at the heart of what banks and financial institutions aim to do. Our financial services team draws on experts across a range of disciplines, including M&A, disputes, regulatory response, corporate governance, risk and advisory, banking and finance, and funds management, superannuation and wealth management.

Access to the right people with the right approach

Working across practice groups, we deploy the right people and technology for each matter, backed by a commercial, solution-driven approach. We have the depth of experience and bench strength to handle large and complex matters, but can also leverage these strengths, as well as technology, to provide tailored solutions for BAU matters and document-intense projects.

Keeping you informed of what's to come

For 200 years, we have worked with lenders, borrowers, government, advisers and other participants in the financial services sector. We advise on best practice and, in many cases, have played a role in setting it. Also, our Alliance with Linklaters, one of the leading banking and finance law firms in the world, provides us with access to the latest global developments on the horizon and further insights into how they may affect you.

You may also be interested in

Webinar: AML and breach reporting

Our webinar examines the key changes and what's ahead for AML/CTF and breach reporting. Watch now.

Crypto-assets – key legal and regulatory issues for financial services companies

An overview of key legal and regulatory issues for financial services providers in relation to crypto-assets, including the proposed new licensing framework and custody obligations for CASSPrs. Watch now.

Elevating ESG

More than just a set of obligations or expectations, ESG is a roadmap to a sustainable and responsible future.

Experience

ANZ investigation and criminal cartel prosecutions by the ACCC

Acted for ANZ in an ACCC investigation and subsequent criminal cartel prosecutions brought against ANZ, two global investment banks and six senior executives in relation to a $2.5 billion institutional share placement undertaken by ANZ in August 2015.

Westpac on breach allegations

Acting for Westpac in its defence of the proceedings commenced by AUSTRAC in November 2019 alleging breaches of the AML/CTF laws.

Breach reporting regime

Advised a number of financial services clients on changes to the breach reporting regime, including major and regional banks and non-bank lenders.

NAB MySuper class action

Defending NAB's former superannuation trustees NULIS (Australia) Limited and MLC Nominees Pty Ltd in a class action concerning the transition of members' accrued default amounts to a MySuper product.

Banking Royal Commission

Advised banks, superannuation funds and executives in relation to the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.

Westpac BBSW largest ASIC investigation ever conducted

In the ASIC investigation, and related proceedings, of potential manipulation of the Bank Bill Swap Reference Rate, known as BBSW and the Australia Equivalent of LIBOR. 

ANZ $2.5bn sale of its wealth management business

On the sale of its wealth management business to IOOF for $945 million, and life insurance business to Zurich, including IT systems, complex data sharing, use and governance arrangements.

ANZ on Australia's first unlisted renewable energy fund

On the capital call facility provided to a QIC funding vehicle for QIC's investment in the Powering Australian Renewables Fund. 

ANZ and NAB on $750m syndicated capital call facility

Provided to BHG Capital Fund I, which is one of the largest Australia and New Zealand focused private equity fund in the market of about $2 billion.

Securitisation transactions

ANZ, CBA, Westpac, Credit Suisse, BTMU, Citibank, Rabo, Bendigo, IFM and Challenger on new and established securitisation programs, and issuers and dealers on term securitisation transactions, across asset classes including residential mortgage loans, SME loans, debtor finance, auto loans and leases and trade receivables.

 

NAB on US$2bn syndicated debt facilities

For IFM Global Infrastructure Fund entities, as part of its global acquisition finance facility, involving capital call and fund NAV financing techniques.

Bendigo on $1.35bn acquisition of mortgage portfolio

From the Western Australian Government's Keystart Housing Scheme Trust, and Cerberus' acquisition of Bluestone Mortgages and their securitisation programs.

Westpac Life class action

Acting for Westpac Banking Corporation and Westpac Life Insurance Services Limited in a class action on behalf of customers who obtained insurance issued by Westpac Life.

Allianz regulatory review of add-on insurance products

In ASIC's ongoing industry-wide review into the sale of add-on insurance products through motor dealers.

QBE shareholder class action

The proceeding involved consideration of complicated factual and technical issues relating to the financial operations of a multinational insurer, insurance accounting, actuarial analysis and goodwill impairment testing. It also raised important legal issues for class action litigation in Australia.

Superannuation regulatory and governance matters

AustralianSuper, HESTA, Hostplus, Maritime Super, Aware Super, Australia Post Superannuation Scheme and others on regulatory and governance matters. This includes on the establishment and management of wholly owned structures, compliance with SIS, APRA prudential standards, directors’ duties and on the implementation of a range of superannuation disclosure reforms, including new fee and cost disclosure rules.

 

 

Superannuation fund merger

Rio Tinto on its $13 billion merger with Equipsuper.

Aware Super $2.86bn bid for Victorian title registry services

Including on the capital call facility to finance the acquisition, the first of its kind in Australia for a superannuation fund.

Freedom Foods restructuring

Advised the lenders to Freedom Foods (now Noumi) on the restructuring and refinancing of the group's debt facilities.