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What Is Banking and Finance Law?

Banking and Finance Legal Issues

The banking and financial industries are heavily regulated by both state and federal law. These laws impose reporting requirements for banks and other financial institutions, govern securities and other transactions, and regulate taxes. In addition to affecting banks, banking and finance law often plays a large role in mergers and acquisitions of corporations, stock purchases and investments by both individuals and companies, and tax audits of bank accounts.

Many people find they need legal help with banking and finance law when forming a new business. There are many laws, contracts, and regulations that may dictate how new business spend and account for investment funds. That's why many small businesses and startups find they need to hire a lawyer from the beginning to ensure compliance with all legal rules.

Terms to Know

  • Security - A financial asset, such as a mortgage, provided to make certain that a debt obligation is fulfilled
  • Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) - A federal agency that insures bank accounts in the event of theft, supervises banking institutions to prevent mismanagement of funds, and manages receiverships
  • Receivership - A legal process where the government seizes a failing bank or other institution to ensure it does default on loans or otherwise lose the money it owes
  • Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) - A federal agency that regulates investments and enforces disclosure and compliance laws related to publicly traded securities
  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) - A federal agency that enforces consumer financial protection laws ranging from credit card regulations to hidden banking fees
  • Federal Reserve - The central bank of the United States, which regulates currency and controls interest and inflation rates in order to create a stable monetary system

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. Individuals may have their bank accounts compromised by financial institutions that fail to follow federal regulations. Small businesses can run into securities issues when accepting investment funds. Finally, large corporations and banks have a host of regulations that they must follow in order to conduct business. Rather than finding a lawyer with general experience in banking and financial legal issues, you should hire an attorney with specific experience in your particular issue or representing clients in similar legal positions that you are.

Banking and finance legal issues pose special problems when financial transactions are conducted across borders. In particular, participating in banking and financial activities involving certain Muslim countries can require you or your business to follow special Islamic rules regarding finance. For example, some Muslim countries have banned collecting interest on certain loans. People facing Islamic finance issues should take extra care to hire a lawyer experienced and properly trained in these special regulations.

If you or your business is facing a finance-related legal issue, contact a banking and finance lawyer immediately to explore your legal options.

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