Financial Institutions

The Financial Institutions Group is one of the most established specialist advisory practices in Singapore in the area of financial services.

A pioneer in specialised advisory, transactional and regulatory practices in Singapore, with long standing knowledge and familiarity with the Singapore financial industry, the Financial Institutions Group is a rare breed in Singapore. It is one of the oldest specialist teams in Singapore in this area of practice, with its founding lawyers joining Rajah & Tann in 1999 as a team from another firm.

Our lawyers have been involved in the establishment and structuring of all major exchanges and markets in Singapore since the 1970s, including the Gold Exchange of Singapore (1978), the Singapore Commodity Exchange (SICOM), the Singapore International Monetary Exchange (SIMEX), the demutualisation of the Stock Exchange of Singapore (SES) and SIMEX to form the present-day Singapore Exchange (SGX), the Singapore Mercantile Exchange (SMX) and the sale of its business to Intercontinental Exchange Group (ICE). Its lawyers have also acted in every major derivatives-related financial crisis/debacle/collapse since the 1980s, including, Nikkei Index Crash on SIMEX in the late 1980s, the Baring’s debacle in the mid 1990s, the near-collapse and restructuring of China Aviation Oil in the mid-2000s, the collapse Lehman Bros insolvency in the late-2000s and the collapse of MF Global in 2011.

Known for providing bespoke innovative and sophisticated legal solutions for complex legal and regulatory problems for financial institutions, the Financial Institutions Group regularly provides legal solutions at the cutting edge of financial industry innovation, the more recent of which include crowdfunding, robo-advisory, novel payment solutions, cryptocurrencies, NFTs and digital assets.

The Group’s broad range of work expertise and experience covers the entire spectrum of legal issues from business inception to business closure, including business, product and services design and structuring, business conduct regulatory compliance, transaction advice and assistance, project management, legal documentation drafting and negotiation, regulator enforcement, disciplinary actions and default management. The Group's deep experience and strong market knowledge covers all aspects of derivatives and structured products, including regulatory, documentation, structuring and characterisation matters for exchange-traded and over-the-counter derivatives across all underlying asset classes.

The Group’s range of clients comprise both financial institutions and their counterparties, including markets, exchanges, clearing houses, central depositories, trading facilities and platforms, major banks, prime brokers, brokers, dealers, traders, funds, financial advisers, insurance companies, custodians, payment system operators, digital asset exchanges and custodians, card brands and payment services providers.


Fintech Legal Guide for Hong Kong and Singapore

Fintech, or financial technology, is the use of technology and innovations to enhance the delivery of financial services and products. While fintech offers opportunities for increased efficiency and better customer experience, it also poses challenges and legal risks.

As the two leading fintech hubs in Asia, Singapore and Hong Kong strive to attract fintech talent, investment and business by encouraging the adoption of innovative and safe technology. This bilingual Fintech Legal Guide for Hong Kong and Singapore jointly presented by Rajah & Tann Singapore and Deacons is a side-by-side comparative overview of the fintech legal and regulatory landscape in Singapore and Hong Kong, focusing on the following key areas: (1) data protection and privacy; (2) cybersecurity; (3) intellectual property; (4) anti-money laundering, (5) setting up business; and (6) talent and workforce development.

As fintech continues to revolutionise the financial services industry and create new growth opportunities in the global market, this Guide will provide valuable insights for businesses considering international expansion through navigating the complexities of fintech regulations in Singapore and Hong Kong. To read the Guide, please click here (English version) and/or here (Mandarin version).