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What Is Banking and Finance Law?

Banking and finance law is an area of law that regulates dealings between borrowers and lenders. State and federal laws regulate nearly all financial transactions. Banks and financial institutions must report all transactions to federal regulators. Banking lawyers help ensure transparency in this reporting.

Banking and finance law focuses on the contractual relationship between lenders and borrowers. In all financial transactions, the goal is management of this relationship to meet the parties' interests. Commercial lending laws affect small businesses when they need startup loans and equipment financing.

Banks and other financial institutions are subject to reporting requirements. These laws also govern securities, the payment of derivatives, and regulate taxes. Banking and finance law plays a role in mergers and acquisitions, stock purchases and investments, and tax audits.

Banking and Finance Legal Issues

When forming a new business, many people need legal help with banking and finance law. Many regulations dictate how new businesses must manage investment and private equity funds. New companies often need legal services to follow corporate finance laws.

Commercial Law

This area of law affects sales of goods and business operations. Mergers and acquisitions are part of commercial law. Buying, selling, or restructuring your business requires the help of a commercial law attorney.

Consumer Law

This law covers everything from debt collection to advertising. You must understand consumer law if your business takes credit cards, collects customer data, or advertises sales. Because so much of this law involves handling money, you need an attorney who understands banking and financial services.


Antitrust is a specialized legal niche covering monopolies and unfair trade practices. Antitrust enforcement also oversees mergers to prevent a company from acquiring too much control of a market sector.

Intellectual Property

Fintech, or financial technology, is the new buzzword in the financial sector. Fintech was essential in the rise of cryptocurrency and now is an essential part of online financial matters. Anyone considering investing in crypto or other online technology should consult an intellectual property attorney.

Terms to Know

  • Security. A financial asset that insures a debt obligation.
  • Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). A federal agency that insures bank accounts against theft or mismanagement.
  • Receivership. A legal process following a foreclosure or regulatory shutdown. The court appoints an overseer to ensure a bank does not default on its obligations.
  • Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). A regulatory agency that oversees stock and securities transactions.
  • International Banking Act of 1978. A federal law that placed all U.S.-based branches of international banks under FDIC control.

For more legal definitions, visit the FindLaw Legal Dictionary.

Other Considerations When Hiring a Banking and Finance Lawyer

Banking and finance-related legal issues can affect nearly anyone. Financial institutions that fail to follow federal regulations may compromise individuals' bank accounts. Small businesses need legal advice when leasing commercial real estate. There are many reasons to consult a banking attorney.

International banking and finance legal issues pose unique problems. Cross-border financial transactions need an extra layer of regulatory compliance and due diligence. The Federal Reserve and FDIC oversee all banking laws on transferring money in and out of the United States. Before investing in overseas markets, discuss these laws with a finance attorney.

Contact a banking and finance lawyer to explore your legal options if you or your business have a financial legal issue.

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