Benjamin Saul is a partner in the firm’s Banking practice group. He represents fintech, regtech, banking, broker-dealer, exchange, specialty finance, and consumer financial services (CFS) companies, as well as their directors, officers and investors on regulatory, enforcement, litigation and corporate matters.

Ben has worked across an ecoysystem of start-ups, established technology companies and financial institutions. His fintech matters have ranged widely, including those involving data issues and artificial intelligence applications, marketplace and online lending, distributed ledger technology, blockchain and cryptocurrencies, mobile and digital banking, payments and emerging payments, personal finance, foreign exchange, and regtech.

Having extensive experience in CFS, Ben has handled matters involving every consumer finance law and asset class. He often works for CFS clients on legal issues where traditional consumer finance, banking and technology intersect.

Ben is also a leading consumer, fintech and bank enforcement lawyer. He has broad experience representing clients in supervisory, enforcement and litigation matters involving the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and has been a leader in the private bar on CFPB matters since the Bureau's inception in 2011. He also routinely handles matters involving the FTC, DOJ, HUD, OCC, FRB, FDIC, FinCEN, state banking and financial services authorities and state attorneys general. Beyond CFS issues, those matters have concerned issues relating to advertising practices, leveraged/commercial lending, AML/BSA/OFAC, data privacy and cyber security, troubled/failed banks, corporate fiduciary duties and financial institution fraud. Such matters-when litigious-often have involved parallel civil and class action proceedings.

Civic Involvement & Honors

    • The Burton Award - Law360 Distinguished Legal Writing Award (co-author), 2019
    • The Burton Award - Law360 Distinguished Legal Writing Award (co-author), 2018
    • D.C. Super Lawyers - Banking, Consumer Law, Business Litigation, 2011-Present
    • The Burton Award - Law360 Distinguished Legal Writing Award (co-author), 2018
    • D.C. Super Lawyers - Banking, Consumer Law, Business Litigation, 2011-Present
    • D.C. Super Lawyers - Banking, Consumer Law, Business Litigation, 2011-Present
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Professional Affiliations

    • Fellow, American College of Consumer Financial Services Lawyers
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Representative Experience

Fintech and Regtech

  • Representation of various centralized crypto exchanges around the world on licensing and regulatory matters.
  • Representation of issuers of various initial coin offerings and asset tokenization initiatives on regulatory matters.
  • Representation of venture capital funds on regulatory issues related to formation given investments in blockchain, token and other fintech assets.
  • Representation of a supranational organization on the development of a pilot program to launch and use crypto within its organization.
  • Representation of a broker-dealer platform using digital media to facilitate investments in Regulation A+ offerings for pro-social companies.
  • Advising the sole book running underwriter concerning an equity offering to finance a retail company’s corporate reorganization to focus on blockchain-based products and services.
  • Advising trust banks on transitioning parts of their business onto the blockchain.
  • Representation of a global financial institution on enhancing its mobile product offerings, including streamlining required disclosures. 
  • Representation of a global payments company on a range of transactional and regulatory payments work.
  • Representation of a global payments company in connection with its expansion into consumer credit products. 
  • Representation of banks and fintechs in connection with data sharing arrangements.
  • Representation of banks and fintechs in connection with various real-time payments initiatives.
  • Representation of multiple fintech and regtech companies in the development of products and services, including navigating regulatory requirements and the negotiation of various, relevant joint venture, program and other agreements.
  • Representation of multiple fintech companies on regulatory compliance matters, including establishing compliance management programs, evaluating fair lending and UDAAP risks, developing consumer complaint response systems, evaluating licensing requirements, meeting AML/KYC/OFAC requirements, and establishing bank partnerships.
  • Representation of several fintech clients in efforts to facilitate regulatory relations strategies and in discussions around product and service development and related issues involving the SEC, CFTC, Treasury Department, FRB, FDIC, OCC, CFPB, FTC, and other federal and state agencies.
  • Representation of many fintech clients in connection with responding to CFPB, FTC, state attorneys general and state financial services regulatory inquiries and investigations. These matters have all been resolved without agency action.
  • Representation of financial institutions and other investors in developing, investing in or acquiring fintech and regtech solutions and assets.

CFPB

  • Representation of numerous financial institutions, other financial services companies and individuals in over 25 CFPB investigations and enforcement matters concerning marketing, lending, collections, credit reporting, and servicing practices across numerous products and services, including mortgages, credit cards, auto loans, student loans, manufactured home loans, personal loans, as well as payment other services. Aside from one matter involving the alleged marketing and sales practices of a major credit card issuer, which was resolved successfully by consent order, these matters have been closed with no action or, in certain cases, resolved privately on favorable terms.
  • Representation of several financial institutions in connection with efforts to comply with CFPB Consent Orders.
  • Representation of several financial institutions and other financial services companies in product reviews, mock examinations and other readiness guidance in advance of CFPB exams. For some of those and other clients, advise on supervisory exam issues involving the CFPB, including a wide range of pre-enforcement issues as well as responding to Proposed Action Response Request letters.

Federal Banking Agencies / DOJ

  • Representation of a large, Global bank in connection with the bank's efforts to comply with Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and Federal Reserve Board (FRB) consent orders concerning default mortgage servicing and foreclosure practices. Both agencies have deemed the bank in full compliance with their Orders.
  • Representation of a large, Global bank in the resolution of parallel grand jury and OCC investigations, as well as a nationwide class action and a state-level mass action in a matter involving allegations of mortgage fraud and predatory lending. The matter was successfully resolved globally, with the grand jury declaring the bank a victim, the OCC closing its investigation, and the civil litigation settled on very favorable terms.
  • Representation of a bank in a DOJ investigation, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) examination and resulting joint enforcement action into that bank's compliance with the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA).
  • Representation of a bank in connection with the negotiation of a deferred prosecution agreement with the DOJ involving a one count information alleging failure to file suspicious activity reports in violation of the Bank Secrecy Act.
  • Representation of a bank in connection with a successful appeal of its CAMELS rating to the Supervision Appeals Review Committee (SARC).
  • Representation of a former bank director in an investigation brought by the FDIC following the failure of the bank. FDIC closed the matter without action.
  • Representation of multiple Chapter 7 Trustees of failed bank holding companies, including IndyMac Bancorp, in: (i) the investigation of the financial affairs and collapse of the debtors; (ii) the defense of the debtors in government enforcement matters involving the FDIC, DOJ and SEC; (iii) litigation against the FDIC concerning the ownership of certain tax refunds and other assets; and (iv) the prosecution of claims against certain insiders and third parties. Significant recoveries for the debtors were obtained while avoiding government liability in each action.

Fair Lending

  • Representation of numerous financial institutions and other financial services companies before prudential banking regulators, the CFPB, the DOJ and HUD in fair lending and servicing examinations, investigations and lawsuits involving, among other things, the marketing, underwriting, pricing and servicing of mortgages, credit cards, student loans, auto loans and other unsecured loans. All such matters were resolved with no action or on favorable terms privately.
  • Representation of multiple non-bank lenders in a nationwide class action lawsuit brought by the NAACP against 18 bank and non-bank lenders in an action alleging "reverse redlining" violations of the Fair Housing Act (FHA), Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), and Civil Rights Act. Achieved dismissal of the case for three clients and victory at summary judgment for a fourth.
  • Representation of bank and non-bank clients on all aspects of fair and responsible banking compliance, including developing compliance policies and programs, conducting risk assessments and developing periodic statistical testing programs.

Publications

  • “Attorney-Client Privilege in the United States,” West Group (2017-2018 ed.), December 2017, (co-author)
  • "FinTech Regulation in the US: Policy, Implementation and Future Directions, " Payments & FinTech Lawyer, Jun. 2018 (co-author)
  • “Managing AI Risk in Financial Services,” Bloomberg BNA Privacy & Security Law Report, August 2017, (co-author)
  • “Fair Lending Litigation,” Litigation Services Handbook: The Role of the Financial Expert, May 2017, (co-author)
  • What Now For The OCC’s Fintech Proposal?Law360, November 2016, (co-author)

Speaking Engagements

  • The Treasure Hunt for Consumer Data & The Governance of Data Privacy, April 4, 2019: CBA Live 2019 Conference (Speaker) 
  • Explainable AI for Financial Services, February 8, 2019: Stanford's AI in FinTech Forum (Moderator)
  • FinTech and Block Chain, March 27, 2018: White & Case Tokyo’s Law and Technology Seminar Series: Session 3 (Panellist)
  • AI and Robotics, March 13, 2018: White & Case Tokyo’s Law and Technology Seminar Series: Session 2 (Panellist)
  • Regtech: Innovative Technologies in Risk-Averse Environments, October 23, 2017: Money 2020 (Panelist)
  • Humans Needed: The limitations of Technology and Your Continuing Role, September 26, 2017: 16th Annual ACAMS AML & Financial Crimes Conference (Panelist)
  • Regtech and Fintech Updates, September 19, 2017: MBA’s Regulatory Compliance Conference 2017 (Panelist)
  • Managing Risk Through AI: What Financial Institutions Need to Know, July 11, 2017: ACAMS Webinar, (Speaker)
  • Tech Talk: Fintech, Regtech, Blockchain and Bots, May 9, 2017: MBA Legal Issues and Regulatory Compliance Conference 2017, (Speaker)
  • Managing Fair Banking in the Digital Era, April 3, 2017: CBA Live 2017 Conference, (Speaker)
  • Algorithmic Bias Issues for Marketing Place Lending, March 7, 2017: Risk Management Association Audio Conference, (Panelist)
  • Who Watches the Watchers: Using AI for Regulatory Compliance, March 2, 2017: Fintech Forum 2017: The Global Reach of Financial Innovation (Panelist)