Banking & Financial Services

Up view in financial district.

The banking and financial services industry is facing some of the most significant competitive, regulatory and technological challenges in its history. Although technological and regulatory changes were underway, the global pandemic accelerated the re-examination of how customers access financial services, what products are offered by industry members and where they compete, both domestically and on a global scale. Innovation is an important competitive advantage, and new technologies, including blockchain, open banking, mobile devices and business models such as peer-to-peer lending and crowdsourcing are radically changing the role our banks and financial sponsors play. However, this adaptation comes with new considerations, as players must navigate how to develop new products and customer experiences without jeopardizing risk management.

Banks and other financial services firms play an important role in Canadian deal-making -  advising corporate clients on M&A transactions, providing financing for acquisitions and acting as underwriters on capital markets offerings.  They need legal advisors who understand the deal landscape and have broad experience across all types of domestic and cross-border transactions. 

In addition, industry players are required to remain compliant with the multitude of regimes governing the financial services sector in an ever-shifting regulatory landscape. Now, more than ever, the business and reputational costs of not doing so are far-reaching and significant.

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Bringing our “one-firm” approach to legal service delivery, we act for every major Canadian financial institution and many foreign players. Understanding the key drivers of the industry, we often act as an extension of our clients’ legal teams, drawing on our perspective framed by our collective experience. We are here to help you navigate today’s and tomorrow’s challenges.

We help financial institutions and other financial services providers manage the escalating complexity of regulatory requirements. We also deliver highly strategic and innovative advice to support all aspects of our clients’ businesses activities, including compliance, investigations, litigation, corporate development, proprietary M&A and capital issuance, investment banking advisory, trading and capital markets, wealth management and private banking, FinTech, and insurance and reinsurance.

Our integrated approach offers a one-stop shop for our financial services clients, which include a wide range of industry players: corporate and investment banks, wealth advisors, broker-dealers, investment managers, financial sponsors, FinTechs, payment service providers, exchanges, alternative trading systems, insurance companies, settlement systems, trade repositories and other financial services businesses.

How we can help

We are constantly considering ways we can help you take advantage of opportunities in the rapidly evolving playing field. At the heart of our capabilities is our Financial Services practice, backed by leading expertise in all areas of strategic and operational importance in the financial services sector. We offer seamless access to our tax, securities, lending, M&A, insolvency, regulatory and other expertise, as well as integrated risk management and litigation defence services in all aspects of your business, including corporate commercial litigation, investigatory work, white collar defence, class actions and more.

Our lawyers assess, examine and provide practical guidance on:

  • Debt financing and lending transactions, including syndicated secured and unsecured credit facilities, acquisition and leveraged financing, project finance, debt and debtor-in-possession financing, private placements, securitization and structured financing, mezzanine financing, subordinated debt arrangements, equipment financing, and capital markets debt offerings
  • M&A
  • Litigation
  • Capital markets offerings
  • Derivatives and securities lending
  • Regulatory capital management and issuances
  • Financial institutions acquisitions, strategic arrangements and new product development
  • Bank and securities regulation, including the development and implementation of preventative compliance and risk management processes and procedures, consumer protection in connection with market conduct, sales practices and product development, anti-money laundering, anti-bribery and anti-foreign corruption, and regulatory breaches and investigations
  • Corporate governance
  • Competition and antitrust advice
  • Taxation matters including international tax planning, transfer pricing, corporate finance and capital markets, indirect tax, tax efficient transaction structures and tax controversies
  • Privacy, data management & cybersecurity
  • Outsourcing by or to financial institutions and other technology-related issues
  • Payments, including credit, debit and prepaid card programs and other commercial card arrangements, mobile payments, electronic wallets, money services businesses and payments modernization
  • Commercial transactions and the legal, regulatory and structuring issues for all types of arrangements, including joint ventures, strategic alliances and investments
  • Outsourcing by or to financial institutions and other technology-related issues
  • Risk and crisis management


  • Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business: Recognized in Banking & Finance
  • Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business: Recognized in Banking & Finance
    • "Osler’s highly regarded banking and finance legal specialists have established the firm’s position as primary counsel to some of Canada’s largest financial institutions."
  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory: Recognized in Banking & Financial Institutions (Toronto, Ontario; Montreal, Quebec)
  • Legal 500: Recognized in Banking & Finance
  • IFLR 1000: Recognized in Banking; Financial Services Regulatory; and Project Finance (Tier 1); Canada Team of the Year (Banking) 2021