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Unit information: Banking Law in 2020/21

Unit name Banking Law
Unit code LAWD30090
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Miss. Powley
Open unit status Not open

Either LAWD10008 Law of Contract and LAWD10011 Law of Tort

or LAWD10007 Foundations of Business Law



School/department University of Bristol Law School
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


This unit is principally concerned with domestic banking law and regulation in the United Kingdom, as it affects retail banking customers. The banking sector, and banking law, has experienced significant developments in the years after the financial crisis - reforms have been introduced to enhance the stability of the financial sector, improve levels of consumer protection and address concerns surrounding the culture within the banking sector. The pace of technological development is also having a dramatic effect on the operation of the banking sector, the evolution of banking institutions and how banks interact with their customers. Yet, alongside these recent developments, the traditional challenges debated in banking law still exist: there are questions surrounding the operation of the money laundering regime and how it affects the banker-customer relationship, and the issue of the scope of the banker's duty of care towards their customers is again moving into the spotlight.

Studying on this unit, students will have the opportunity to engage with, analyse and assess these important developments. The traditional elements of banking law are covered, including: the nature of the banker-customer relationship and its legal basis; mandate and mistaken payments; and, lending. Students are also encouraged to engage with current debates in banking law: the work of the financial regulators will be discussed and critiqued, as well as that of other bodies working to enhance the scope of consumer protection in the banking sector (such as the Financial Ombudsman Service and the Competition and Markets Authority). The impact of financial innovation through financial technology (FinTech) and the ramifications of the Payment Services Regulations 2017 on payment cards and services, data sharing and confidentiality will also be considered.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Describe the principles of law and practice that affect UK banks and their customers, including the relevant principles from contract, tort and restitution.
  2. Summarise the role of the regulatory authorities and the regulatory process.
  3. Employ relevant legal principles and regulatory rules to resolve problem question scenarios.
  4. Construct arguments analysing the development of banking law using case law, statute, regulatory publications and banking industry sources.
  5. Assess critically the impact of law and regulation on the banking sector and the banker-customer relationship.

Teaching details

Teaching will be delivered through a variety of asynchronous and synchronous activities

Assessment Details

1 x summative assessment: Timed Open Book Assessment with a specified word count (100%)

The assessment will assess all of the intended learning outcomes for this unit.

Reading and References

  • Iris H-Y Chiu and Joanna Wilson, Banking Law and Regulation (2019, Oxford University Press, Oxford);
  • R. Cranston et al, Principles of Banking Law, 3rd edn (2018, Oxford University Press, Oxford);
  • E.P. Ellinger et al, Ellinger’s Modern Banking Law, 5th edn (2011, Oxford University Press, Oxford).