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Principles of Financial Regulation - LAW00070H

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  • Department: The York Law School
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Elliott Keech
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25

Module summary

This module aims to develop knowledge and understanding of the regulation of banks, financial services, and FinTech in the UK. It will explore that regulation in its global and interdisciplinary contexts. The module will examine the history and structure of bank and financial services regulation in the UK and critically assess the principles and intellectual basis of those regimes. The module will include seminar-based study which will aim to develop students' knowledge of the subject matter through enquiry-based learning, practical case analysis, and presentations.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 2 2024-25

Module aims

The module will introduce students to the regulation of financial services in the UK with a focus on banks, financial service providers, FinTech, and cryptocurrency. Students will be introduced to various economic and financial theories as well as a variety of different regulatory and financial concepts. Students do not need to be highly numerate to do well and there is no mathematics in this module. However, it IS interdisciplinary, and students will be expected to approach the material with an open mind.

Note, this is not a banking or financial services law module; whilst it includes legal aspects of financial supervision, its main focus will be regulatory and include discussion of economics theory, monetary theory, finance and politics.

In detail this module will address the following:

  • What are financial markets for? What functions does the financial system serve? Why is it important?
  • How are financial services regulated in the UK? Who are the different actors involved? Why has UK regulation been over-hauled recently?
  • What socio-legal and economic theories underpin the current approach to financial regulation?
  • What is a bank? How do banks work? Why can bank activities cause distress for the economy?
  • Why are banks fragile? How do we attempt to stop bank insolvencies?
  • Executive pay: current controversies, relationship to the financial crisis, justifications and reforms
  • Corporate and Financial Crime, Insider dealing and market abuse – what they are, and how they are regulated.
  • FinTech and DeFi- what it is, what it does, and what the risks are
  • Cryptocurrencies - tension with financial sector, AML regulation and service providers dealing with them

Module learning outcomes

The Module Learning Outcomes (MLOs) are the foundation of the Module and everything you do in the Module will in some way or other relate to the MLOs. You are assessed by reference to the extent to which you have met the MLOs and therefore you must always bear these in mind when you undertake self-directed learning. When engaging in the small session tasks and completing the assessment you must always try to relate your work to the MLOs in some way.

MLOs are expressed in a manner which indicates what you should be able to do at the end of the module. The assessment will be aimed at demonstrating how you have met the MLOs.

The MLOs state that when you finish this module you should be able to:

1. The capacity to interpret and assess competing viewpoints and to use those viewpoints to formulate critical arguments concerning law and regulation, insofar as they are relevant to the principles of bank and financial services regulation (MLO1)

2. the ability to engage in and cultivate reasoned legal argument, by way of both oral and written presentation (MLO2)

3. the ability to produce (by a specified deadline) a concise and appropriately structured essay addressing a key issue of the candidate’s choosing (MLO3)

4. the ability to think independently and to use one’s initiative in developing legal ideas and research into financial regulatory issues (MLO4).


Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Module feedback

Feedback is by way of an individual feedback sheet presented to each student, in the timeframe stipulated by the University

Indicative reading

J Cullen, Executive Compensation in Imperfect Financial Markets (Elgar 2014)

J. Armour et al. Principles of Financial Regulation (OUP 2016)

I. Chiu & J. Wilson, Banking Law and Regulation (OUP 2019)

Vandezande N, Virtual Currencies: A Legal Framework (Intersentia 2018)

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.