When investigations or supervisory activities conducted by regulatory agencies ripen into enforcement action, Venable provides knowledgeable representation to client companies, and their officers and directors. We represent banks and their directors and officers in all types of agency enforcement proceedings, both informal and formal, and provide strategic advice for handling such actions, as well as any collateral consequences that may result. Our experience includes: 

  • Representation of third-party service providers and vendors to insured financial institutions subjected to examination and enforcement by the bank regulatory agencies, as well as Institution-Affiliated Parties subjected to agency enforcement jurisdiction
  • Defense of individual directors and officers in investigations and suits by the FDIC as receiver for closed depository institutions, working with responsible carriers to seek the best possible outcome for the individuals involved
  • Representation of numerous clients in investigations and threatened enforcement actions by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Pre-Enforcement Examination and Supervision

Our team regularly represents financial institutions with regard to complex examination and supervision matters, assisting in responding to supervisory criticism and implementation of compliance and remediation measures before they ripen into enforcement matters. 

Compliance and Enforcement

The economic crisis has led to the enactment of a broad range of laws and regulations with which troubled financial institutions must comply. In addition, in the current environment, state and federal banking regulators have significantly increased enforcement activity against financial institutions and their officers and directors. Our team is experienced in representing banks, thrifts, directors, and officers and other "institution-affiliated parties" when they are the subject of regulatory criticism or enforcement actions. We also represent financial institutions in any related securities litigation.

AML/BSA and OFAC Compliance 

Our lawyers have specialized knowledge in representing financial institutions facing supervisory or enforcement actions relating to AML/BSA and OFAC compliance. They have advised banks, thrifts, service providers, broker-dealers, MSBs, and others regarding how to minimize their compliance risks in these areas and how to respond when threatened with enforcement or other remedial supervisory actions. 

Defending Officers and Directors 

Should a bank or thrift fail, we represent the officers, directors, and other "institution-affiliated persons" in all matters, including throughout any litigation proceedings. Our attorneys provide a thorough review of the bank's D&O insurance and coverage claims, and represent officers and directors in FDIC investigations. We also defend officers and directors against liability claims, as well as represent the institution in any related securities and holding company litigation. 

Federal and State Fair Lending laws 

Enforcement of fair lending statutes is a clear and growing priority for the regulatory agencies and the Department of Justice—and our team stands ready to defend you should your institution become the focus of an investigation or enforcement action. Our attorneys defend banks and other financial institutions in suits brought by the United States Department of Justice under the Fair Housing Act and Equal Credit Opportunity Act. Additionally, we negotiate on your behalf when regulatory agencies, including HUD, bring actions to enforce fair lending and fair housing laws. 

Government Experience

Our team includes more than 20 attorneys focused on financial services and regulatory issues who regularly deal with, or who formerly served as senior officials and legal counsel of, federal and state agencies responsible for the supervision of banks and other financial institutions, including

  • Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
  • Federal Reserve Board
  • Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
  • Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN)
  • Federal Housing Finance Agency
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council
  • Financial Stability Oversight Council 
  • Commodities Futures Trading Commission
  • Department of Justice
  • Department of Treasury
  • Securities and Exchange Commission
  • Office of Management and Budget
  • Federal Trade Commission


  • Chambers USA, Financial Services Regulation: Consumer Finance (Compliance), 2016
  • U.S. News – Best Lawyers, Best Law Firms, Financial Services Regulation Law, 2011 – 2017, 2022
  • Legal 500, Financial Services: Regulatory, 2011 – 2023