Financial Law

Key information

Start date
Year of study
10 weeks
Module code
Centre for Financial and Management Studies

Module overview

The module aims to examine and critically discuss the fundamental concepts of financial law in the light of market developments in national and international financial markets. It builds upon the introductory module, Introduction to Law and to Finance, and complements the more specialist modules, Legal Aspects of International Finance, Legal Aspects of Corporate Finance and Regulation of International Capital Markets.

Learning outcomes

When you have completed your study of this module and its core readings, you will be able to:

  • outline and discuss the importance of financial law for the creation and development of strong financial markets
  • analyse the institutional framework that is necessary for the provision of credit and the operation of financial markets
  • explain and critically discuss the basic legal components of the financial system
  • examine and discuss the key legal problems that relate to the provision of finance and the ways in which financial institutions address such problems
  • critically discuss the legal principles and rules applicable to bank deposits and the relationship between the banker and the customer
  • discuss and analyse the basic legal principles underpinning commercial and international banking transactions
  • identify and critically evaluate the legal risks involved in the process of agreeing and documenting the most basic financial agreement
  • analyse and discuss the basic legal components of the payment systems of key jurisdictions of the world
  • critically evaluate the nature, scope, economic function of security in the provision of finance
  • identify and critically evaluate the systemic risk in the financial market encountered by the financial authority.

Tuition and 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 6, and the second assignment at the end of the module, on the Tuesday after Week 10. 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 September/October, worth 70% of your total mark. An up-to-date timetable of examinations is published on the website in July each year.

Study resources

  • Study guide: The module study guide is 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 assigned readings.
  • Key texts: Ellinger EP, E Lomnicka & CVM Hare (2011) Ellinger's Modern Banking Law. 5th Edition. Oxford, Oxford University Press.
    McKendrick E (Ed.) (2016) Goode on Commercial Law. 5th Edition. Penguin.
  • Readings:Throughout the module you will be directed to study a selection of readings, including journal articles, book extracts and case studies that are of particular relevance and interest to the topics covered in the module.
  • Virtual learning environment:You will have access to the VLE, a web-accessed study centre. 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.

Study calendar 2022/23

Core module S1
Financial Law (M440)  Not running Running Not running Running

Study calendars are subject to change.

Module overview

Unit 1 Introduction to Financial Law

  • 1.1 Introduction
  • 1.2 The Banking System
  • 1.3 Capital Markets
  • 1.4 The Importance of Law for Financial Markets
  • 1.5 The Legal Preconditions for Efficient Financial Markets
  • 1.6 The Institutional Preconditions for Efficient Financial Markets
  • 1.7 Conclusion

Unit 2 The Needs of Finance and the Character of English Financial Law

  • 2.1 Introduction
  • 2.2 The Needs of Finance
  • 2.3 The Nature of English Financial Law
  • 2.4 The Principal Sources of English Financial Law
  • 2.5 Conclusions

Unit 3 Bank Deposits and Accounts

  • 3.1 Introduction
  • 3.2 Bank Deposits and the Financial System
  • 3.3 The Banker–Customer Relationship
  • 3.4 The Legal Properties of Bank Accounts
  • 3.5 Confidentiality and Data Protection
  • 3.6 The Law of Electronic Banking
  • 3.7 Conclusion

Unit 4 The Law Relating to Money and Payments

  • 4.1 Introduction to Money and Payments
  • 4.2 The Legal Concept of Money
  • 4.3 The Legal Concept of Payment
  • 4.4 Payments by Bank Transfers
  • 4.5 Payment Systems – Clearing and Settlement
  • 4.6 Conclusion

Unit 5 The Law Relating to Loans and Credit

  • 5.1 Introduction to Lending and Bank-Based Finance
  • 5.2 Forms of Credit
  • 5.3 The Loan Agreement and Principal Questions of Law
  • 5.4 The Law Relating to Consumer Lending
  • 5.5 Conclusion

Unit 6 The Law of Secured Finance

  • 6.1 Introduction to the Mechanisms of Credit Enhancement
  • 6.2 The Economic Rationale of Secured Finance
  • 6.3 Forms of Security – Pledge, Mortgage and Charge
  • 6.4 Issues of Priority and Enforcement
  • 6.5 Key Considerations
  • 6.6 Conclusion

Unit 7 The Law Relating to the Control of Financial Crisis

  • 7.1 Introduction to the 2008–2009 Financial Crisis
  • 7.2 The Northern Rock Banking Crisis
  • 7.3 The Banking Act 2009
  • 7.4 The Definition of a Failing Bank
  • 7.5 Conclusion

Unit 8 Questions of Liability

  • 8.1 Introduction to the Concept of Liability
  • 8.2 Doctrinal Bases of Liability
  • 8.3 Advice
  • 8.4 Lender Liability
  • 8.5 Conclusion

Module samples


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules