Banking Law


This course aims to provide the students with a general overview of Private Banking Law, from an international perspective, though the emphasis will be on EU law. The course is based upon EU law, general principles of law but reference may also be made to other systems of law and to international initiatives sponsored by Unidroit and UNCITRAL.

This course focuses on the private law of banking as it relates to the core banking activities: deposit taking and lending of money.

The purpose of this course is, on the one hand, to provide students with the necessary skills to understand and analyse from a critical standpoint banking contracts. Students should, at the end of the course, be able to identify the relevant legal questions arising from such contracts, as well as the relevant risks at stake and also be able to present solutions to mitigate or transfer such risks.

On the other hand, our goal is to provide students with the necessary skills in order to be able to choose, when facing a real life situation, the best (banking) contractual solution.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Joana Farrajota


Weekly - 3

Total - 36

Teaching language



Not Applicable


Ellinger, Lomnicka and Hare, Ellinger’s Modern Banking Law, 5th ed, 2011.

Mattout, Jean-Pierre, Droit Bancaire International, 4th ed., Revue Banque, 2009

McKnight, Andrew, The law of International Finance, 2008, Oxford University Press


In addition to these works, a more specific list of readings is made available to students, in respect of each topic addressed in classe, on Moodle.

Teaching method

A reading list was made available to students - consisting of court decisions, doctrine articles and legislation - for each of the points of the syllabus, on Moodle, so that students can prepare in advance for each of the classes. The aim is to increase participation and create a basis for interesting class discussion with students. There will also be seminar classes, with invited guests, on topics that, although related to the subject programme, are transversal to other areas. are transversal to other areas of knowledge, such as data protection and fintech, among others.


Evaluation method

The evaluation shall consist of two elements: a written exam in the end of the semester (80% of the final grade) and participation in class, that could include presentation in class of papers (20% of the final grade).

The second element is not mandatory, as such should the participation have a negative influence in your evaluation it will be not be taken into account

Subject matter

§1.  Introduction.  Banks and Banking Business

1.  Overview: legal definition of bank, bank transactions

2.  The bank and its customers

2.1  The legal nature of the problem

2.2.  Who is a customer? B2b and b2c relations (an overview)

2.3.  The nature of the relationship between banker and customer

2.4.  Bank’s duties

§2.  The bank as a monetary agent

1.  The bank’s role as a Depository

1.1.  The account.

1.2.  The current account

2.  Special types of account

3.  Deposit Guarantee Schemes

4.  The bank as paymaster.

4.1.  The Gyro system and Electronic transfer of funds

4.2.  The provisions of the Payment services Directive (2015/2366)

§3.  The bank as Lender

1.  Introduction

2.  Overdrafts

3.  Bank loans

4.  Leasing

5.  Factoring

6.  Risk management. Guarantees  (Bank Guarantees; Documentary   credits)