Joseph E. Silvia


Joseph advises financial institution clients on a variety of corporate and regulatory matters including mergers & acquisitions, securitizations, strategic transactions, governance, international banking, payments, anti-money laundering and sanctions compliance, and private equity and venture capital investments. He advises financial institutions, fintech companies, and corporations regarding risk and regulatory compliance, third party vendor management, consumer protection, digital currencies, blockchain, affiliate transactions, privacy, and retail and commercial banking.  In this capacity, he advises on drafting and negotiation of vendor agreements, required disclosures, and agreements between financial institutions and their clients/customers/members.

Joseph handles matters for his clients concerning banking, credit union, and financial services regulation, including state and federal regulation with respect to licensing, retail banking, consumer credit, cannabis, anti-money laundering and OFAC compliance, and more. Having previously served as counsel to the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, where he focused on the supervision and regulation of banks, bank holding companies, and savings and loan holding companies as well as consumer finance and compliance matters, Joseph has a unique perspective on all aspects of the financial system.

Joseph is an adjunct professor at Chicago-Kent College of Law, where he teaches a course on Consumer Banking Law.


Education & Credentials


George Washington University Law School

LL.M., International and Comparative Law, 2010

Bar Admission

  • Illinois2011
  • Virginia2007 (inactive)

Prominent Assignments

  • Led credit union acquisition of substantially all of the assets of a community bank
  • Assisted bank and bank holding company clients with numerous mergers and acquisitions
  • Counseled financial institution clients on expansion of products and services, including outlining regulatory expectations and guidance related to offering new products and services.
  • Represented multiple bank holding company clients issuing subordinated debt.
  • Represented credit union clients issuing secondary capital.
  • Represented underwriter on multiple subordinated debt offerings by bank holding companies and secondary capital offerings from credit unions.
  • Represented large regional and community bank clients in applications for approval of mergers and acquisitions of bank and non-bank entities.
  • Represented credit union clients in applications for approvals of bank acquisitions
  • Review and drafting of policies and procedures for multiple financial institution clients regarding anti-money laundering compliance. 
  • Negotiation and review of critical vendor agreements, including core processing agreements. 
  • Advised bank and bank holding company clients on corporate governance requirements and regulatory expectations for new directors and senior executive officers.  
  • Advised bank and bank holding company clients on updates and amendments to corporate documentation, including bylaws and articles of incorporation.
  • Assisted non-bank client with licensing requirements and approvals for state money transmitter license and registration as a money services business with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”).
  • Counseled bank and credit union clients on consumer finance regulatory compliance matters related to the Truth in Lending Act, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and fair lending laws and regulations.
  • Counseled a credit union client transitioning legacy credit card platform.
  • Represented bank and credit union clients in applications for branch purchases from other financial institutions. 
  • Assisted non-bank client with virtual currency business application requirements. 
  • Represented community bank requesting regulatory approval to pay dividends. 
  • Counseled bank client on responding to inquiry from FinCEN related to customer relationships.
  • Counseled multiple financial institution clients in potential relationships with high-risk businesses, including cannabis-related businesses and money services businesses.
  • Advised community bank client on regulatory capital requirements for subordinated debt offering in order to qualify proceeds as Tier 2 Capital. 
  • Reviewed and advised community bank client regarding online account agreements.
  • Advised bank clients on treasury management and cash management services and the relevant service level agreements with business customers, including for ACH, positive pay, lockbox and other cash management services for business customers. 
  • Represented bank clients in Change in Control Applications to state and federal bank regulatory agencies.
  • Represented community bank clients before state and federal banking agencies related to various examination and enforcement matters.

Professional Involvement

  • American Bar Association
    • Business Law Section
    • Banking Law Committee, Vice Chair
      • Regional and Community Banks Subcommittee, former Chair
      • Enforcement, Insider Liability, and Troubled Banks Subcommittee, former Vice Chair
    • Mergers and Acquisitions Committee
    • Credit Unions Committee
    • Consumer Financial Services Committee
  • Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
    • Working Group on Financial Markets

Community Involvement

  • Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago-Kent College of Law
    • Institute for Compliance, Advisory Board Member
  • Law360
    • Banking Editorial Advisory, Board Member, 2016


  • Author, "What to Know About Conditional Regulatory Approvals, “ Bank Director, May 2024
  • Featured, "Recent Bank Turmoil under the Microscope Part 3," Dickinson Wright Minutes on the Matter, April 2023
  • Featured, "Recent Bank Turmoil under the Microscope Part 2," Dickinson Wright Minutes on the Matter, March 2023
  • Featured, "Recent Bank Turmoil under the Microscope Part 1," Dickinson Wright Minutes on the Matter, March 2023
  • Co-Author, "Financial Institutions Advisory: NCUA Issues Proposed Amendment to Subordinated Debt Rule," Dickinson Wright Client Alert, November 2022 
  • Speaker, “Complexities of Acquiring Control: Where the Fed’s Control Rule Meets Other Regulatory Definitions,” National Academy of Continuing Legal Education, October 2022
  • Author, "Financial Institutions Advisory: FINCEN Issues Final Rule on Beneficial Ownership Reporting," Dickinson Wright Client Alert, October 2022 
  • "Banks in the Cryptocurrency Ecosystem," Northern Illinois Compliance Association in partnership with Illinois Bankers, September 2022 
  • Complexities of Acquiring Control: Where the Fed’s Control Rule Meets Other Regulatory Definitions,” National Academy of Continuing Legal Education, October 13, 2022
  • "Meet the Expert: Cannabis Banking Legal Brief,” Shield Compliance Client Connect Conference, October 5, 2022
  • “Banks in the Cryptocurrency Ecosystem,” Illinois Bankers Association and Northern Illinois Compliance Association Workshop, September 30, 2022, Peru, IL
  • “Banks in the Cryptocurrency Ecosystem,” Illinois Bankers Association and Central Illinois Compliance Network Workshop, September 16, 2022, Rockford, IL
  • Presenter, "Crypto & Blockchain Seminar for Bankers," Illinois Bankers Association, July 2022 
  • Contributing Author, "Countering the Financing of Terrorism: Law and Policy," American Bar Association, July 2022 
  • Chicago Bar Association, "Updates on the Modernization of CRA," June 12, 2019, Chicago, IL. 
  • Chicagoland Compliance Association, "BSA/AML/OFAC Program Fundamentals to Keep You Out of an Enforcement Action," April 5, 2019, Chicago, IL. 
  • American Bar Association, "Salvation or Curse: The Impact of Innovation on Community Banking," March 28, 2019, Vancouver, BC.
  • University of North Carolina Banking Institute, "Hot Topics: BSA/AML Compliance," March 22, 2019, Charlotte, NC. 
  • American Bar Association, "Careers in Banking Law," January 10, 2019, Washington, D.C. 
  • Mortgage Bankers Association, "BSA/AML Compliance for Banks and Mortgage Companies," September 16, 2018, Washington, D.C. 
  • American Bar Association, "Cybersecurity for Community Banks–Third Party Relationships," September 13, 2018, Austin, TX.
  • U.S./E.U. Cybersecurity Summit, "Overview of Cybersecurity and Anti-Money Laundering in the U.S.," May 3, 2018, Chicago, IL. 
  • American Bar Association, "Don’t Hate, Collaborate (with Fintech)," April 12, 2018, Orlando, FL. 
  • Illinois Bankers Association, "Vendor Management Action Plan," March 2, 2018, East Peoria, IL. 
  • Chicago Bar Association, "Growing Cybersecurity Risks and Expectations," February 14, 2018, Chicago, IL. 
  • American Bar Association, "Technology, Innovation and the Community Reinvestment Act," September 14, 2017, Chicago, IL.
  • Illinois Bankers Association, "Fintech–Friend of Foe," June 23, 2017, Nashville, TN. 
  • American Bar Association, "CRA for Community Banks," April 6, 2017, New Orleans, LA.
  • The Law Project, "The Art of Making a Deal," January 11, 2017, Chicago, IL. 
  • Chicago Bar Association, "Governance Regulators Expect," November 9, 2016, Chicago, IL.
  • American Bar Association, "The 5th Pillar–Customer Due Diligence after FinCEN’s New Rule," September 8, 2016, Boston, MA.
  • Financial Managers Society, "Regulatory Update," October 19, 2017, Oak Brook, IL. 
  • Chicagoland Compliance Association, "Where’s the Incentive: Changes to Incentive Compensation and Sales Practices," October 5, 2017, Oak Brook, IL. 
  • Illinois Bankers Association, "Building a Compliance Culture from the Teller Window to the Boardroom," October 21, 2016, Fairview Heights, IL.
  • American Bar Association, "BSA/AML Compliance Challenges for Community Banks–New Rules and Threats," September 8, 2016, Boston, MA. 
  • Chicago-Kent College of Law Alumni CLE Program, "Hot Issues: Compliance in Financial Institutions," May 18, 2016, Chicago, IL. 
  • Mortgage Bankers Association, "LO Comp, Ability to Repay and HOEPA Rules," May 1, 2016, Denver, CO. 
  • Chicago Bar Association, "BSA/AML Regulatory Developments," April 13, 2016, Chicago, IL. 
  • American Bar Association, "Checking in on Cybersecurity, BSA and State Law Developments Affecting Community Banks," September 19, 2015, Chicago, IL. 
  • American Bar Association, "Regulatory Hot Topics: BSA/AML Compliance for Community Banks," April 17, 2015, San Francisco, CA. 
  • Mortgage Bankers Association, "TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures (TRID)," September 20, 2015, Washington, D.C. 
  • Mortgage Bankers Association, "Essentials of QM and LO Comp," May 3, 2015, Chicago, IL.
  • Chicago Bar Association, "Hot Topics in Bank M&A and Capital Raising," October 8, 2014, Chicago, IL.
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