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Unit information: Banking Conduct and Law in 2021/22

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

Description including Unit Aims

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 Information

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

Assessment Information

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).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.