SOAS University of London

Centre for Financial and Management Studies (CeFiMS)

Banking Strategy

Module Code:


The world of banking has changed considerably in recent years, particularly since the crisis of 2007–09. This course aims to give you a good understanding of the characteristics of the financial system and the role of intermediation, as well as the implications of recent structural changes for bank management and external corporate control. You will learn about banks’ sources of funding and how the environment after the 2007–09 crisis transformed their funding choices.

The course also aims to provide an analysis of the factors that can contribute to success or failure in the execution of banks’ mergers and acquisitions (M&A) transactions, and the cultural challenges that may be crucial to the success of an M&A deal involving banks. We hope that your study of the course will enable you to evaluate the business strategy and implementation failings that have given rise to bank failure and to assess the benefits and costs from regulation of the financial services industry, and the net regulatory burden faced by the banking industry.


Study Guide

You will receive a looseleaf binder containing eight 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 Virtual Learning Environment.


Smith, RC., Walter, I. & DeLong, G. (2012) Global Banking, 3rd Edition, Oxford University Press.


You are provided with a range of academic journal articles, extracts from supplementary text books and other reports or material. You will also consider a number of Case Studies. All these comprise the Course Readers which forms an essential part of this course.

Virtual Learning Environment

You will have access to the VLE, which is a web-accessed learning environment. Via the VLE, you can communicate with your assigned academic tutor, administrators and other students on the module using discussion forums. The VLE also provides access to the module 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 module

When you have completed your study of this module, 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 UK
  • 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

Unit 1: Introduction
  • 1.1 The Internet Revolution
  • 1.2 The Promise of Internet Banking
  • 1.3 General Description of Internet Banking Products and Services
  • 1.4 Interesting, But Not Compelling
  • 1.5 Trust, Validation and Security
  • 1.6 The Evolution of Internet Banking
  • 1.7 Current Developments Affecting Internet Bank
  • 1.8 Retail Banking in the European Union
Unit 2: Banking Law in the United Kingdom (England and Wales) and the United States Applicable to Electronic Banking
  • 2.1 The United Kingdom
  • 2.2 The United States
  • 2.3 Electronic Funds Transfer in the US
  • 2.4 Check 21
  • 2.5 Online Business Banking Services
  • 2.6 Remote Deposit Capture
  • 2.7 Single European Payments Area (SEPA)
  • 2.8 Allocation of Liability
Unit 3: Cross-Border Establishment or Provision of Banking Services in the European Union
  • 3.1 The EU Internal Market and the Four Freedoms
  • 3.2 Development of EU Law on the Internal Market
  • 3.3 The ‘General Good’ Derogation
  • 3.4 The Approach of the EU Banking Directive
  • 3.5 Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union
Unit 4: Prudential Regulation of Banking
  • 4.1 Introduction to Prudential Regulation
  • 4.2 2011 EU Prudential Supervisory Framework
  • 4.3 The 2012 EU Supervisory Framework
  • 4.4 Prudential Bank Regulation in the US
  • 4.5 EU Deposit Guaranty Scheme
  • 4.6 US Deposit Insurance
Unit 5: Securities Activities on the Internet
  • 5.1 Introduction to Securities Activities on the Internet
  • 5.2 Online Trading in Shares
  • 5.3 Online Securities Offerings
  • 5.4 Crowdfunding
  • 5.5 Electronic Prospectus Publication and Availability in the EU
Unit 6: Prudential Regulation of Securities Activities
  • 6.1 Introduction to Prudential Regulation of Securities Activities
  • 6.2 Securities Regulation in the European Union
  • 6.3 Securities Regulation in the US
  • 6.4 Prudential Issues Relating to Regulation of Online Brokers
  • 6.5 Day Trading
Unit 7: Marketing and Delivering Financial Services over the Internet
  • 7.1 Introduction
  • 7.2 EU Electronic Commerce Directive (2000)
  • 7.3 EU Distance Marketing Directive
  • 7.4 EU Unfair Commercial Practices Directive (2008)
  • 7.5 Electronic Signatures
  • 7.6 Electronic Delivery of Mandated Disclosures
  • 7.7 Brussels Regulation and Choice of Forum Clauses in the EU
  • 7.8 Arbitration
Unit 8: Consumer Privacy and the Internet and Whistleblowers
  • 8.1 Leaky Ships – Data Security in Financial Services
  • 8.2 Data Protection – The EU Dimension
  • 8.3 Gramm-Leach-Bliley Financial Modernisation Act of 1999 – The US Dimension
  • 8.4 EU-US Framework on the Transfer of Personal Data
  • 8.5 Whistleblower Schemes –The Personal Data Dimension

Method of assessment

Students are individually assigned an academic tutor for the duration of the module, with whom you can discuss academic queries at regular intervals during the study session.

You are required to complete two Assignments for this module, 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 module, on the Tuesday after Week 8. Assignments are submitted and feedback given online. In addition, queries and problems can be answered through the Virtual Learning Environment.

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.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules