SOAS University of London

School of Finance and Management

Financial Law for International Managers

Module Code:
FHEQ Level:
Year of study:
Year 1
Taught in:
Term 1

This module is designed to give the student an overall understanding of the legal issues relating to financial transactions for international managers and practitioners.  The focus is principally on the legal issues arising between (primarily) financial institutions and those with whom they transact, rather than on their duties to the state. 

The introduction to the module explains the global relevance of English financial law due to its popularity as a governing law of international commercial contracts and its influence on the financial law of a large number of other legal jurisdictions.  It acknowledges that this is due not only to the importance of London as a global financial centre but also to the ongoing impact of Britain’s export of the English law and legal system during the colonial era to the jurisdictions of the then British Empire.  At the same time, many of the principles covered are not particular to English law but are common to the laws of many jurisdictions. 

There then follows an examination of the origins of English financial law as well as, in a more global context, the rationale for having law and regulation of financial services.  Building on these foundations, the module then examines the bank-customer relationship, the various types of risk, loans and the legal relationships that these entail, as well as the different means of payment before concluding by examining the international anti- money laundering provisions, without which no financial law module in today’s world can be complete.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

The main objectives of the course are: 

  • To provide a grounding in the legal issues of financial law
  • To provide an understanding of the national and international legal practice issues relating to financial law

By the end of the course, students will:

  • Demonstrate a clear understanding of the key legal issues relating to the financial sector.

  • Demonstrate a clear understanding of the different types of risk that may arise in relation to a financial transaction and the ways in which these may be mitigated from a legal perspective.

  • Advise colleagues and clients on the appropriate means of payment in relation to an international commercial transaction.

  • Demonstrate a clear understanding of the particular responsibilities that are imposed on financial institutions, and on the professionals working in them, in relation to the prevention of money laundering. 


This module consists of a 2-hour weekly lecture over 10 weeks of term plus a revision lecture in term 3 as preparation for the final examination. Students will be supplied with a syllabus with a breakdown week by week of required and additional reading. Reading materials are usually accessed electronically from the BLE and students should come to class prepared.


This module also has a weekly 1-hour tutorial where the questions posed by the tutor relevant to the lecture are explored and discussed by the students. Students also prepare and deliver a short presentation.

Total Work load:

Students on this module will have 3 taught hours each week. Additionally, adequate personal study time should be allocated for reading and class preparation.

Scope and syllabus

  1. Introduction and Sources of Financial Law
  2. Law Relating to Deposits and Accounts
  3. Risk
  4. Sovereign Immunity
  5. Law Relating to Loans and Credit
  6. Loan Covenants
  7. Syndicated Loans
  8. Legal Aspects of Money and Payments
  9. Financing of International Trade
  10. Money Laundering


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules