Manager & Counsel - Financial Services Regulation

American Express

Location: Greater London

Job Type: Full time


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American Express Company (NYSE: AXP), a Fortune 100 company, is a global payments, network and travel company founded in 1850 and headquartered in New York. We provide customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. The Company’s principal products and services are charge and credit payment card products and travel-related services offered to consumers and businesses around the world. With a global workforce of more than 50,000 people, American Express is recognized the world over as a great place to work. In the Americas, Fortune magazine counts them as one of, “The Best Companies to Work For,” “America's Most Admired Companies” and a “Top Global Company for Leaders.” Black Enterprise Magazine ranked American Express as one of “The 40 Best Companies for Diversity”, pointing to strengths in diversity among the Board of Directors and senior management. BusinessWeek recognized American Express as one of “The Best Companies for Leaders” and “Best Global Brands.” In Europe, The Sunday Times ranks them as one of the “Top 20 Best Big Companies to Work for.” In Asia, the Economic Times says they are one of “India's Best Companies to Work for.”

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Position Summary

  • This role is for a junior or mid-level lawyer to join the General Counsel’s Organization (GCO) to act as an associate counsel for financial services regulation for American Express in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region (with a specific focus on the UK and EU) and to contribute to the broader work of the Global Legal Policy and Strategy function in which this role sits.
  • Supporting all lines of business within American Express in the EMEA region and globally. As well as the UK and EU regulatory environment, also focusing on material regulatory and legal policy developments globally. Key business areas relevant to this role include card issuing, merchant acquiring and 3-party card schemes.
  • Interfacing with other GCO lawyers, business personnel, Compliance, Operational Risk, Government Affairs, external bodies and regulators.
  • The ideal candidate would be someone who has some experience in payments regulatory matters and/or has demonstrated an aptitude for interpreting and applying technically complex regulation. You will need to be confident and able to work closely with business clients on a day to day basis managing conflicting priorities and tight deadlines.
  • You will also need to be confident in interacting with and helping American Express to deepen its relations with local and European regulators.
  • Based in London in the Global Legal Policy and Strategy team, which comprises both competition and financial services lawyers, responsible for dealing with payments systems regulation and global legal policy and strategy. You will report directly to a senior financial services regulatory lawyer in the team.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Regulatory support with an emphasis on financial services and payments regulatory matters in the UK and EMEA generally.
  • Supporting compliance with the requirements of key payments legislation such as the revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2). Advising generally on licensing, prudential regulation, ongoing governance and conduct regulation under the regimes established by PSD2, Interchange Fee Regulation and the AML Directives. Responding to consultations on such payments regulatory matters.
  • Playing a key role on licensing matters – advising on applications for new authorisations, variation of existing licences, relinquishing licences, passporting submissions, appointment of agents. Advising on cross-border structures, passporting and arrangements with third parties (group companies and external partners), including outsourcing and agency arrangements.
  • Advising on FCA authorisation and supervision generally, assisting with regulatory reviews and inspections and responding to requests for information. Supporting Compliance and business leaders in managing FCA and other regulatory relationships.
  • Monitoring regulatory developments at UK, EU and global level relating to financial services, payment services, and payment schemes through internal, external and desktop resources and reporting these developments internally. Assisting lobbying efforts at EU and national level to ensure regulation is proportionately tailored according to different business models. Assisting in the development of American Express strategy in response to and anticipation of regulatory developments in the payments industry.
  • Advising on AML, counter-terrorist finance, anti-corruption and financial sanctions legislation and helping to develop American Express policy, strategy and approach in these critical areas.
  • Advising on management of potential regulatory breaches or compliance failures.
  • Supporting regulatory aspects and overall strategy on re-organisation projects, structuring considerations, new product launches and new market entry.
  • Briefing colleagues and clients on significant developments and projects. Preparing and supporting with delivery of internal training as appropriate.
  • Requesting, obtaining and finalising legal opinions/advice from outside counsel as needed and managing related budgets.
  • Supporting projects, assisting more senior lawyers and potentially supervising paralegals.
  • Attending relevant training courses.
  • Supporting the work of the Global Legal Policy and Strategy function, as required.

Offer of employment with American Express is conditioned upon the successful completion of a background verification check, subject to applicable laws and regulations.

Amex Flex

At American Express, we know that with the right backing, people and businesses have the power to progress in incredible ways. Whether we’re supporting our customers’ financial confidence to move ahead, taking commerce to new heights, or encouraging people to explore the world, our colleagues are constantly redefining what’s possible — and we’re proud to back each other every step of the way.

When you join #TeamAmex, you become part of a diverse community of over 60,000 colleagues, all with a common goal to deliver an exceptional customer experience every day. We back our colleagues with the support they need to thrive, professionally and personally. That’s why we have Amex Flex, our enterprise working model that provides greater flexibility to colleagues while ensuring we preserve the important aspects of our unique in-person culture. Depending on role and business needs, colleagues will either work onsite, in a hybrid model (combination of in-office and virtual days) or fully virtually.

Specific Experience Required:

  • Qualified to practice law and provide legal advice in the UK, or in an EU jurisdiction with ability and willingness to qualify in UK. 1 to 5 years’ relevant post-qualification experience ideally in financial services regulation matters.
  • Familiarity with one or more of the following areas would be helpful - payment services, payment schemes, e-money, AML, FSMA. Willingness to learn and become expert in these fields.
  • Fluency in English.
  • Solid drafting, research and negotiation/influencing skills.
  • Solid analytical skills and high attention to detail.

Required Personal Attributes

  • High engagement – passionate about payments and regulatory matters.
  • Skilled at multi-tasking - able to manage and prioritise a wide variety of matters and client contacts at once.
  • Commercial focus – able to interpret and apply regulation in a practical, hands-on, common sense manner.
  • Communication skills – personable, able to communicate clearly, concisely, effectively and persuasively with clients, all levels of business, legal management and external regulators. Prepared to take the lead and make appropriate recommendations to management. Comfortable with speaking up in meetings and briefing stakeholders orally and in writing.
  • Process-management skills - strong knowledge-management and organisational skills, and willingness to help identify and implement improvements in work process to enhance efficiency and productivity.
  • Adaptable and collaborative - able and willing to work both as part of a team and independently, under supervision of more senior lawyer where appropriate.
  • Willingness to learn and grow - willing to learn business sectors relevant to American Express as well as the applicable regulatory environment and to leverage experience gained in this position to expand skill set for future career growth at American Express.
  • Strong relationship focus - able to build solid working relationships with clients, colleagues and external parties. Enjoys getting to know people.
  • Commitment to integrity and American Express values, with high personal work standards.
  • Strategic thinker with good analytical skills, attention to detail even under time pressure.
  • Intellectually strong - rapid grasp of key issues.

Why American Express?

There’s a difference between having a job and making a difference.

Amex have been making a difference in people’s lives for over 160 years, backing them in moments big and small, granting access, tools, and resources to take on their biggest challenges and reap the greatest rewards.

We’ve also made a difference in the lives of our people, providing a culture of learning and collaboration, and helping them with what they need to succeed and thrive. We have their backs as they grow their skills, conquer new challenges, or even take time to spend with their family or community. And when they’re ready to take on a new career path, we’re right there with them, giving them the guidance and momentum into the best future they envision.

Because we believe that the best way to back our customers is to back our people.

The powerful backing of American Express.

Don’t make a difference without it.

Don’t live life without it.

To complete your application please click on the links below. However, if you require any assistance with the completion of this process – or need any reasonable adjustments to be made – then please contact the Recruitment Team on

You’ve got this!