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 law and regulatory frameworks for banking services, payment providers and fintech's.

The module will examine the principles that underpin the regulation of banking, payment and fintech services. 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 focus on the regulation and policy for banking institutions in the UK, much of which is sourced from international and EU bank regulation. Further, with modern developments in payment and fintech services that challenge incumbent banks across a range of traditional banking products and services including payments and credit, we look at how the regulatory frameworks for these have developed. 

The module examines in detail the microprudential regulation of banking institutions, a regime that has become highly economic in nature. This focus is reflected in the devotion of the 50% coursework assessment to micro-prudential regulation. Further we look at the regulatory framework for retail credit and payment services, discussing how fintechs are changing the landscape and contributed to regulatory reform.

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 micro-prudential regulation for banking institutions; 

  • to examine bank resolution and crisis management frameworks, highly topical since the modern bank runs during the global financial crisis and in March 2023; 

  • to enable students to develop an understanding of the regulatory frameworks for retail credit and payment services; 

  • to develop their critical abilities by evaluating the rules, policies, and principles of regulation pertaining to banks, payment providers and fintechs; and 

  • to develop their analytical abilities by identifying and resolving legal issues relating to the providers of banking, credit, payment or fintech services and their customers. 


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

  • identify and understand regulatory issues arising in banking and credit institutions, payment services and fintech; 

  • 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 regulatory frameworks

Module Syllabus

  • Policy and theory in bank regulation  

  • Regulatory architecture in the UK 

  • International regulatory architecture 

  • Microprudential regulation 

  • Bank crisis and resolution 

  • the regulatory framework for consumer credit and products 

  • The regulatory framework for payment service providers and fintech 

  • Innovations in banking services, policy and regulation, including central bank digital currencies and a critical appraisal of cryptocurrency

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 such as the online rulebooks of the Prudential Regulation Authority and Financial conduct Authority. 

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. Examples of the course reading material include:

Key Information

Module details
Credit value:45 Credits (450 learning hours)
Convenor:Iris Chiu, Alan H Brener
Other Teachers:

Alan H Brener

Teaching Delivery:20 x 2-hour weekly lectures, Term 1 and 2
Who may enrol:Any UCL Master’s student subject to the pre-requisites below. 

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; 

  1. 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; 

  1. Basic numeracy competency and the ability to engage in quantitative topics 

  1. 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:Opportunity for feedback on one formative practice essay per term (two in total) 
Final Assessment:Controlled Condition Exam (50%), Essay (50%)