UCL Faculty of Laws


Regulation of Financial Markets (LAWS0283)

The module will examine the regulation of financial markets, focusing on the public policy and regulatory regime for fund-raising, investment products, and investment firms.

The investment sector is a highly regulated sector, and after the global financial crisis 2007-9, regulatory reforms have ramped up in this sector, resulting in an elaborate system of financial regulation for investment products, services and firms. The module focuses on the regulatory regimes for fund-raising, from listed companies to innovative smaller companies such as by way of online crowdfunding, as well as the regulatory frameworks for investment firms offering a range of services from investment advice, brokerage to product design and distribution.  

The focus is on the UK and hence emphasis will be placed on the Financial Services and Markets Act, the Financial Conduct Authority’s rulebook, the FCA Handbook, other legislation for the UK and relevant international documents. However, as much of the regulatory regime has been sourced from EU legislation transposed in the UK, the course will tease out the importance of these origins and the post-Brexit adjustments made in the UK. 

The module will be of interest for students who wish to advance their understanding of financial services regulation for capital and investment markets. The course first grounds students in regulatory theories and institutions that underpin public policy in governing various forms of investments and investment markets. The course then provides substantive learning in selected areas of capital markets products and investment intermediation services. The module has a focus on regulation and hence will not deal with transactional issues in international finance. This course runs in term X only.

Module Syllabus

  • Theoretical and public perspectives in investment services and markets regulation 

  • The UK Regulator 

  • Regulation of fund-raising in traditional and technologically-enabled forms 

  • Regulation of investment firms and services they provide, including advice and brokerage 

Recommended materials

Module reading lists will specify reading materials. We consult the following textbooks but not exclusively, and students should be prepared to engage with moderate to heavy levels of statutory reading such as UK Acts, the Financial Conduct Authority’s online Handbook and journal articles. Teaching is not structured in accordance with any of the books below but they are useful references. 

  • Iain MacNeil, Introduction to the Law on Financial Investment (Oxford: Hart 2012) 

  • Armour et al, Principles of Financial Regulation (2016) 

  • Moloney, EU Securities and Financial Markets Regulation (OUP 2014) 

  • Mads Andenas and Iris H-Y Chiu, The Foundations and Future of Financial Regulation (Routledge 2014) at chapters 1, 2, 5-8 

For an example of official papers see:  

 For an example of journal article reading see:  

  • Eilis Ferran, “The Break-up of the Financial Services Authority” (2011), Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 455 

Key information

Module details
Credit value:22.5 credits (225 learning hours)
Convenor:Iris Chiu
Other Teachers:TBD
Teaching Delivery:10 x 2 Hour Weekly Seminar, Term Two
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. 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 in term 2
Final Assessment:Controlled Condition Exam (100%)