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International and comparative bank regulation

Module information>

Academic Direction
UCL, Queen Mary University of London
Modes of Study

The regulation of banks used to be an important but obscure area of law. All of that change in 2008 with the Global Financial Crisis. Suddenly attention was drawn to the way banks were regulated. In this course we investigate what bank regulation is, what it seeks to achieve and why bank regulation needs to differ from the regulation of other types of businesses. We look in detail at the nature of bank regulation and its objectives as well as the implications of decisions around regulatory systems. Having thought about these fundamental problems we can then move on to another issue – the international nature of banking and case studies and solutions related to this complex area. The aim of this course is to provide you with the basic tools to enable you to understand this interesting and exciting area of law.

Module A: Risk, banks and the principles of bank regulation


  • Banks and risk: what is a bank, why are banks important, what is risk?
  • Principles of regulation: what is regulation and what is its purpose(s)?

Module B: Basel Committee and the regulation of international banks


  • Issues in international bank regulation: what are the problems?
  • Basel Committee on Banking Supervision: its structure, soft law
  • The Concordat 1975, Revised Concordat 1983, Core Principles
  • Capital Adequacy: Basel I, II and III
  • The impact of the banking crisis on Basel

Module C: European Union regulation and who should regulate banks


  • EU banking regulation law
  • Who should regulate banks? Single financial regulator, multiple regulators?

Module D: United Kingdom bank regulation law


  • The development of UK bank regulation
  • Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 and the structure of regulation


Each module is assessed by a 45-minute unseen written exam.


It is strongly recommended you attempt Modules A and B before C and D.

How to apply

You can apply to study a module individually as a standalone unit or as part of a Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma or Master of Laws qualification. (In either scenario, they must be studied in order.)

These modules also contribute towards the following specialist pathways for Laws:

  • Banking and Finance Law
  • Commercial and Corporate Law
  • Common Law
  • Comparative and Foreign Law
  • Economic Regulation
  • Financial Services Law
  • International Business Law
  • Public Law

Apply via Postgraduate Laws.

Study Material