Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


This unit provides a general introduction to banking and finance law in the Australian legal system. It focuses on the position and role of banks and other financial institutions in Australian society. As a result of the Wallis Report, it is now accepted that banks should no longer be seen as public agencies or semi-government bodies, nor as charitable institutions. Banks are, in fact, major financial corporations with enormous wealth and considerable influence. Given their pivotal role in the Australian economy, they are subjected to prudential supervision by the Reserve Bank but there is no system of depositors' insurance. Banks are also subject to regulation by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, the Australian Stock Exchange and the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority (APRA). This network of regulation is closely examined in this unit. The impact of the 'four pillars' policy, deregulation, mergers and acquisitions and banking culture is explored from a sociological and economic perspective. As the traditional banker–customer relationship is being eroded, it is timely to reassess some of the basic precepts of banking law and regulatory regimes. The unit also serves as an introduction to the Australian Banking Ombudsman scheme and the process of dispute resolution between banks and their customers.

6 points

Students demonstrate achievement of the outcomes in a variety of assessment methods including a class presentation and a written assignment. Details of assessment are advised in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Adjunct Professor Jim O'Donovan
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.