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Centre for Financial and Management Studies (CeFiMS)

Law and Regulation of Electronic Finance and Internet Banking

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In taking this course you will gain a grounding in the legal and regulatory issues concerning electronic banking and finance in different jurisdictions, including in the UK and at EU level. You will also acquire an understanding of the impact that this has on financial services in general and their transactional and contractual aspects in particular.


Study Guide

You will receive a looseleaf binder containing eight 'course units'. The units are carefully structured to provide the main teaching, defining and exploring the main concepts and issues, locating these within current debate and introducing and linking the further assigned readings. The unit files are also available to download from the Online Study Centre.


Gkoutzinis, Apostolos (2006) Internet Banking and the Law in Europe, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge UK


You will receive three volumes of Readings, which consist of recently published articles or seminal writings which augment and illustrate the main text.

Online Study Centre

You will have access to the OSC, which is a web-accessed learning environment. Via the OSC, you can communicate with your assigned academic tutor, administrators and other students on the course using discussion forums. The OSC also provides access to the course Study Guide and assignments, as well as a selection of electronic journals available on the University of London Online Library.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

When you have completed your study of this course, you will be able to:

  • define and distinguish the concepts of ‘electronic finance’, ‘Internet banking’ and ‘electronic banking’
  • identify and critically discuss the legal problems relating to the completion of cross-border electronic funds transfers and securities transactions
  • critically discuss the impact of economic and financial globalisation on the development and current state of traditional jurisdictional principles of international law
  • define and distinguish the concepts ‘prudential banking regulation’, ‘financial and non-financial risks’, ‘operational risk’, ‘internal controls’ and ‘regulation and supervision of online financial activities’
  • critically discuss the impact of regulatory measures of consumer and investor protection on the development and current state of electronic commerce in financial services in the United Kingdom
  • analyse the key issues and challenges relating to the regulation of securities activities via the Internet
  • identify and critically discuss the main components of the Financial Services Action Plan, and the philosophy of the policies of the European Commission towards the establishment of a functioning market in electronic financial services
  • explain the criteria used to determine the applicable law to crossborder banking contracts for the provision of online services.

Scope and syllabus

Course Content
Unit 1: Introduction to Electronic Finance and Internet Banking
  • 1.1 Introduction
  • 1.2 The Internet and the Securities Markets
  • 1.3 The Use of the Internet in the Banking Industry
  • 1.4 International Market Developments - Electronic Finance in Europe and Beyond
  • 1.5 Electronic Finance Across Borders - A Dynamic Form of International Financial Integration
  • 1.6 Essential Institutional and Legal Conditions
  • 1.7 Concluding Remarks
Unit 2: Basic Legal Concepts and Foundations of Electronic Banking and Financial Activities
  • 2.1 Introduction
  • 2.2 The Law of Bank Accounts, Deposits and Electronic Transfers of Funds
  • 2.3 The Law of Consumer Credit, Loans and Overdrafts
  • 2.4 The Law of Online Securities Trading
  • 2.5 Contractual Relationships via the Internet
  • 2.6 Concluding Remarks
Unit 3: Electronic Finance and the Globalisation of Financial Markets
  • 3.1 The Second Era of Financial Globalisation
  • 3.2 Cross-Border Capital Flows and Financial Services
  • 3.3 The Contribution of Electronic Finance to Financial Globalisation
  • 3.4 International Regulation of Electronic Finance
  • 3.5 Conclusions
Unit 4: Prudential Regulation and Supervision of Electronic Finance and Banking
  • 4.1 Introduction
  • 4.2 Prudential Financial Regulation
  • 4.3 Internet Banking
  • 4.4 The Basel Committee and Electronic Financial Activities
  • 4.5 Prudential Requirements in Key European Jurisdictions
  • 4.6 Concluding Remarks
Unit 5 Law of Electronic Banking in the United Kingdom
  • 5.1 The Bank-Customer Relationship
  • 5.2 The Bank as Depository of the Online Account
  • 5.3 Electronic Transfers of Funds via the Internet
  • 5.4 A Basic Overview of the English Law of Online Credit
  • 5.5 The Law of Online Financial Services in the UK
  • 5.6 Concluding Remarks
Unit 6: Regulation of Securities Activities over the Internet
  • 6.1 Introduction
  • 6.2 Online Securities Offerings
  • 6.3 The Use of Electronic Media in Capital Markets
  • 6.4 Online Securities Transactions in the European Union
  • 6.5 Concluding Remarks
Unit 7: EU Law - The Financial Services Action Plan
  • 7.1 The European Union Law of Financial Services
  • 7.2 The First Generation of EU Banking and Financial Law - 1985-1998
  • 7.3 The Financial Services Action Plan - 1998-2005
  • 7.4 The European Approach to Electronic Commerce
  • 7.5 Concluding Remarks
Unit 8: Cross-Border Electronic Contracts
  • 8.1 Conflicts of Laws in the Online Environment
  • 8.2 Choice of Law in Cross-Border Electronic Banking Contracts
  • 8.3 Applicable Law in the Absence of Choice
  • 8.4 Applicable Law in Consumer Contracts for the Provision of Electronic Banking Services
  • 8.5 Choice of Law and Mandatory Rules of the Forum of Litigation
  • 8.6 Choice of Forum of Litigation
  • 8.7 Concluding Remarks

Method of assessment

You will complete two Assignments which will be marked by your tutor. Assignments are each worth 15% of your total mark. You will be expected to submit your first assignment by the Tuesday of Week 5, and the second assignment at the end of the course, on the Tuesday after Week 8. Assignments are submitted and feedback given online. In addition, queries and problems can be answered through the Online Study Centre. You will also sit a three-hour examination on a specified date in October, worth 70% of your total mark. An up-to-date timetable of examinations is published on the website in April each year.