Banks & financial institutions

Bringing a complete market view to your complex and novel transactions

Increased regulatory and societal scrutiny, tighter controls and changing customer profiles, coupled with digitalisation are all reshaping this sector. Banks and financial institutions need to build and sustain trust, while creating customer-centric experiences.  

We have an extensive track record acting for financial institutions on local and international funding programmes. We’ve worked with clients to design and implement some of the most significant, market-leading transactions in the country’s banking and finance sector. And we've played a leading role in shaping New Zealand’s legislative and regulatory frameworks due to our excellent relationships with the Financial Markets Authority, Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment, Treasury, Reserve Bank of New Zealand, NZX and industry groups – we can influence the law by engaging with officials and making submissions on regulatory change.

Known as the go-to firm for New Zealand’s banking and finance sector, we support banks and financial institutions across the full spectrum with:

  • corporate transactions
  • capital raising and wholesale debt issuances
  • customer finance transactions and products – institutional and corporate funding, securitisation, derivatives and acquisition, mezzanine, property, project and sustainable lending
  • financial regulation
  • funds management
  • litigation and dispute resolution
  • regulatory investigations
  • restructuring and insolvency
  • tax advisory.
  • Advising an all aspects of CCCFA compliance and litigation risk including reviewing documents for compliance, engagement with regulators and key stakeholders, potential remediation to customers, and mitigating risks of adverse findings and class actions.
  • Supporting ANZ Bank New Zealand on its sale of OnePath Life NZ for $700m to specialist global insurer Cigna Corporation (the transaction also included negotiating a 20-year strategic alliance for Cigna to provide insurance solutions for ANZ bank customers); and advised InfraRed Capital Partners on the sale of its 40% interest in the Public Private Partnership at Auckland South Corrections Facility to the AMP Capital Community Infrastructure Fund.
  • Supporting HSBC and Bank of China on the secured syndicated refinance of Enviro (NZ) Group (owned by CKI Hutchinson Group), involving senior, hedging and trade/transactional facilities.
  • Acting for ANZ Bank New Zealand on its innovative ESG linked loan for Synlait Milk. This is the first time any New Zealand company has agreed with its bank to link its sustainability agenda to the cost of funds; and supported Bank of New Zealand to establish the Private Wealth Series Alternative Fund.
  • Acting for Blackstone Group, global private equity firm, on its acquisition of seven large Auckland office blocks for $635m; and Augusta Capital, the NZX-listed property company, on acquisitions for its Industrial Fund (in excess of $295m) and the office development at 96 St Georges Bay Road, Parnell, Auckland ($116m).
  • Defending some of New Zealand’s most complex and large-scale class actions to date including appearing for ANZ Bank in successful Supreme Court litigation over the sale of financial derivatives.
  • Supporting Crown Irrigation Investments on the structuring, funding and all other legal aspects of its investment in the Waimea Community Dam project. Included providing a bespoke construction/project facility as well as a debt facility.
  • Acting on a number of significant investigations into the behaviours of banks and insurance companies, and advised on the Financial Markets (Conduct of Institutions) Bill.
  • Advising a number of New Zealand’s largest banks, wealth managers, discretionary investment managers and derivatives issuers on their Financial Markets Conduct Act transition, licensing, compliance, documentation and governance in response to what has been described as a ‘once in a generation’ rewrite of New Zealand’s securities law; working closely with many clients on their FSLAA transitions; and advising on Financial Advisers Act, Financial Service Providers (Registration and Dispute Resolution) Act, anti-money laundering laws, insurer prudential supervision laws and non-bank deposit taker laws.
  • Working with banks and financial institutions on conduct and culture matters, including assisting with FMA and RBNZ Bank and Life Insurer conduct and culture reviews.
  • Advising Kiwibank on privacy compliance for new digital services and marketing initiatives, as well as improvements to its privacy policies; and acted for a major bank on privacy and data protection requirements arising from its disclosure obligations to foreign regulators in relation to particular types of transaction data involving OTC derivative products.
Ranked Tier One for banking and finance, investment funds, corporate and capital markets work.Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2024 | Chambers Asia Pacific 2024 | IFLR1000 2024

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