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Unit information: Banking Conduct and Law in 2022/23

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing, student choice and timetabling constraints.

Unit name Banking Conduct and Law
Unit code LAWDM0144
Credit points 30
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Miss. Powley
Open unit status Not open




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


Banking Conduct and Law focuses on the legal issues that arise for banks in the course of engaging with their customers. It has traditionally involved studying the legal relationships that arise between banks and their customers, which rest on well-established rules of common law and statutory provisions. The evolution of the banking sector and changes to banking practice have, however, impacted the development of the law in this area. Increasingly, rules and regulations overlay the scope of the common law provisions that apply in the banker-customer context. The increase in financial crime has led to a plethora of rules that affect how banks treat their customers. Recent changes in terms of technology and innovation in the banking sector are providing new, alternative ways for consumers to access banking services. This unit will enable students to understand the historical development of the law in this area whilst also allowing students to engage with new developments and current debates in the field of banking law and banking conduct.

Topics covered will include:

  • The Regulatory Authorities
  • Consumer protection: the Financial Ombudsman Service and the Competition and Markets Authority
  • The banker-customer relationship
  • Payments: cards, fraud and FinTech
  • Mandate and mistaken payments
  • Duties of care
  • Constructive trusts
  • Confidentiality and money laundering
  • Lending
  • Prudential regulation

Intended learning outcomes

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

  1. Discuss the role of law and regulation in the oversight of bank conduct and the banker-customer relationship and explain the relevant legal rules and principles that impact how banks engage with their customers.
  2. Employ appropriate legal principles from banking law and regulation to assess problem case scenarios.
  3. Analyse the development of the relevant law and regulation in light of the current challenges that banks and their customers face.
  4. Develop arguments engaging with complex contemporary debates covering issues that affect the banking sector synthesising various materials, including case law, statutes, regulatory materials and banking industry sources.
  5. Critically assess the nature of banking law in the UK.

Teaching details

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

Assessment Details

2 x summative assessment: 2x Timed Open Book Assessments with a specified word count (50% each)

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


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. LAWDM0144).