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Unit information: Banking Conduct and Law in 2020/21

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

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.

Reading and References

Textbook details will be released in due course.

For an example of the type of texts referred to on this unit, please see:

See generally:

Students also might find it interesting to listen to one or two of the Podcast episodes of ‘FinTech Insider’, covering the impact of technological innovation on the banking and financial services sector.