Andrew E. Bigart

Partner
Bigart Andrew
Andrew Bigart focuses his practice on helping bank and non-bank financial institutions navigate the federal and state regulatory environment governing payments, lending, and consumer financial services. Andrew provides regulatory and business counseling advice to clients across a variety of industries, including banks, payments companies, money transmitters, broker-dealers, lenders, and trade associations. He counsels clients on regulatory compliance matters, contract negotiations, due diligence, federal and state examinations, and civil investigations and litigation before federal and state banking and financial institution regulators.

Payments and Financial Services

Andrew assists banks and non-bank financial institutions in the payments industry with regulatory compliance, business counseling, contract negotiations, due diligence, examinations, and civil investigations and litigation before federal and state banking and financial institution regulators. Andrew's clients include card networks, banks, fintechs, payment processors, payment facilitators, independent sales organizations (ISOs), online lenders, digital and mobile wallet providers, and merchants. He advises banks and payments clients on regulatory issues relating to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Department of Justice (DOJ), Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the Department of Treasury, the Federal Reserve, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Federal Deposit Insurance Commission (FDIC), state attorneys general, and numerous state banking and regulatory agencies. In addition, he counsels numerous banks and payments companies on federal and state laws governing the provision of financial services to marijuana-related businesses.

Anti-Money Laundering and Economic Sanctions

Andrew assists banks, broker-dealers, and financial services companies with Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money laundering (BSA/AML) compliance and represents them before the prudential banking regulators, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and other financial regulators. Andrew helpsclients design BSA/AML compliance policies and procedures, conducting compliance audits, and providing training on Customer Identification Programs (CIPs), Suspicious Activities Reports (SARs), Bank Secrecy Act reporting, OFAC/control list compliance, and other information requests from the U.S. government. This work has included advising banks and other financial institutions on setting up BSA/AML programs for marijuana-related businesses in states where marijuana has been legalized. In addition, he advises clients on compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and the economic sanctions laws administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). He also works on other international trade issues, including those involving the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).

Consumer Financial Services

Andrew counsels bank and non-bank clients on a variety of advertising, marketing, consumer protection, and general business issues. He helps clients with ongoing regulatory compliance concerns, examinations, investigations, and litigation before the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the Department of Transportation (DOT), and state attorneys general. Andrew's work has focused on industries subject to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act, and Electronic Fund Transfer Act, and other, similar consumer protection laws and regulations.

Trade Association Counseling

Andrew assists Venable's Nonprofit Organizations Group in advising trade associations and nonprofits on corporate governance, antitrust, and policy issues. In particular, he represents leading associations in the payments space on policy and advocacy involving federal regulatory developments.

Experience

Representative Matters

Regulatory Compliance

  • Develops and helps clients implement regulatory compliance programs for merchant processing, payments, and lending activities
  • Advises clients on Bank Secrecy Act / Anti-Money Laundering (BSA/AML) requirements, "know your customer" (KYC) principles, and other regulatory requirements
  • Provides comprehensive risk management advice related to consumer protection laws and enforcement imposed on payment processors by the FTC, CFPB, and other regulators
  • Advises clients on federal and state money transmitter licensing requirements, including the applicability of state-specific exemptions, responses to inquiries made by state licensing authorities, and the preparation of licensing applications
  • Advises banks, payment processors, and merchants on compliance with credit card and NACHA rules 
  • Advises a large payments company on risks and compliance implications of certain proposed new services involving remote deposit capture, check cashing, money transmission, tax refunds, and prepaid access
  • Counsels one of the major card brands on merchant aggregation, including payment facilitators, marketplaces, staged digital wallets, and merchants of record. Analysis focused on data security requirements, data use, settlement processes, and other key activities 
  • Assists clients with fifty-state surveys on various consumer financial services requirements, including unfair, deceptive, and abusive acts and practices (UDAAP) and marketing and consumer credit advertising laws
  • Advises banks on complying with federal and state requirements in connection with providing banking services to marijuana-related businesses in states where marijuana or CBD oil has been legalized
  • Assists clients with evaluating the distinctions, pros, and cons of acting as a payment facilitator, marketplace, and digital wallet

Examinations, Enforcement, and Litigation

  • Represents numerous banks, payment processors, and independent sales organizations (ISOs) in responding to civil investigative demands, subpoenas, and enforcement actions issued by the FTC, CFPB, Department of Justice, and state law enforcement agencies

Business Counseling and Contracts

  • Drafts and negotiates bank sponsorship agreements with payment processors, payment facilitators, and other payments companies
  • Drafts and negotiates commercial transactions and fintech agreements between payment technologies providers, software companies, banks, and customers involved in business-to-business bill pay and other services
  • Assists a payments company with launching a commercial payments platform for virtual cards, ACH, prepaid, and checks. This work has involved negotiating sponsor agreements on the front end with numerous sponsor banks, and commercial agreements with accounts payable and various other software companies on the back end
  • Conducted regulatory due diligence of an acquisition target operating a payment facilitator in the online consumer lending market

Insights

Credentials
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Education

  • J.D. cum laude American University, Washington College of Law 2006
    • Federal Circuit Editor, American University Law Review, 2005-06
  • B.A. cum laude College of William & Mary 2003

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Virginia

Professional Memberships and Activities

  • Member, American Bar Association, Antitrust Section

Community
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Pro Bono

  • Volunteers each year as part of the Mock Court Program of the Historical Society of the District of Columbia Circuit