UCL Faculty of Laws


The Law and Regulation of Banks and Fintech Services (LAWS0269)

This module provides students with an in-depth understanding of the legal issues that arise in banking regulation and law.

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The module will examine the principles that underpin the regulation of banking. Banking is a highly-regulated activity in many parts of the world including the EU and UK, and after the global financial crisis of 2007-9, the regulatory frameworks have undergone severe reforms. We will look at UK bank regulation in particular and its relationships with international and EU bank regulation.

The module examines in particular the regulation of bank risk-taking, whose regulation has become highly economic in nature. Further we look at regulatory controls over retail services such as in retail transactions and in payments regulation. The course has a strong focus on the law and economics of banking regulation, in particular micro-prudential regulation. This focus is reflected in the devotion of the 50% coursework assessment to micro-prudential regulation. You should consider carefully the suitability of this course based on the pre-requisites below.


  • to enable students to familiarize themselves with the core principles of banking regulation
  • to develop their critical faculties by evaluating the rules, policies, and principles of banking regulation; and
  • to develop their analytical faculties by identifying and resolving legal issues relating to the regulation of banks and the relationships between banks and customers


By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • identify and understand regulatory issues arising in banking
  • obtain a thorough understanding and application of complex statutory, common law and international material
  • critically evaluate the policies and values inherent in the structure of banking regulation

Module syllabus

  • Policy and theory in bank regulation
  • Regulatory Architecture in the UK
  • International regulatory architecture
  • Micro-prudential regulation
  • Bank Crisis and resolution
  • The Banker-customer relationship including regulation for consumer protection and credit
  • Innovations in banking services, policy and regulation, including payment services regulation

Recommended materials

The key materials in the course are statutory in nature. Students should be prepared to engage with extensive domestic and international policy papers such as from the Basel Committee, Prudential Regulation Authority and legislation, such as UK Acts, subsidiary legislation and the Prudential Regulation Authority’s online Rulebook.

We will refer but not exclusively to:

  • Chiu and Wilson, Banking Law and Regulation (OUP 2019);
  • Cranston et al, Principles of Banking Law, OUP 2017

The reading materials for each topic are provided in the handouts for each topic, and the below are examples of the types of resources we mention above. The reading load for this course is moderate to heavy, depending on your background, and students should be prepared to read widely.

Key information

Module details
Credit value:45 credits (450 learning hours)
Convenor:Iris H Chiu, Alan H Brener
Other Teachers:Nikoletta Kleftouri
Teaching Delivery:20 x 2-hour weekly seminars, 10 seminars per term, Term One and Two
Who may enrol:LLM Students Only

We do not enforce formal pre-requisites but the following are preferred. If you do not meet most of the following, the course is unlikely to suit you. Contact the course convenor if in doubt ahead of selection:

    1. An LLB background with knowledge in Company Law;
    2. Prior knowledge of law and economics and/or regulation theories. Indeed some high school qualifications in economics is likely to be beneficial at the very least.

Students without such prior knowledge will have to be prepared to engage in much more background reading, bearing in mind that the course reading load is moderate to heavy. Note that the course features heavy statutory reading.

Any student interested in enrolling but without the preferred pre-requisites or background knowledge should consult Katja Lagenbucher, Economic Transplants, Cambridge University Press 2017 Parts I and II. This sets the conceptual background against which we are looking at banking regulation.

    1. An inter-disciplinary mindset with interest in exploring into policy issues underlying regulation;
    2. Basic numeracy competency and the ability to engage in quantitative topics
Work experience in policy and regulation at central banks or financial regulatory agencies or a keen interest in pursuing such a career.
Must not be taken with:None
Qualifying module for:LLM in International Banking and Finance Law
Practice Assessment:TBD
Final Assessment:TBD