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UK Financial Institutions and Markets


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 4
  • Convenor: Dr George Alexandrou
  • Assessment: coursework (20%) and a three-hour 15-minute examination (80%)

Module description

In this module we introduce you to financial institutions and markets. The UK financial system is used to illustrate the institutional structure of a financial system, but major aspects of other markets and economies are also covered.

We will consider basic economic principles; the role of savings and investments in the economy; the function of banks and other financial intermediaries in lending and borrowing; types of traded securities and different types of banks and banking activities. Finally, we examine the role of the central bank and government, and the legal and regulatory framework.

Indicative syllabus

  • The value of the financial system
  • Monetary policy - central banking
  • Retail and corporate banking
  • Security markets and security trading
  • Equities and equity markets
  • Bonds and bond markets
  • Insurance, pensions and collective investments
  • Money markets
  • Foreign Exchange Market
  • The regulation of the financial markets

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you should have a broad understanding of:

  • the UK financial system and its role in mobilising saving and investment
  • the differing requirements of end users of the financial system in the personal, corporate and public sectors
  • the roles of financial institutions in the retail, wholesale, international banking, building society and finance house sectors
  • investment institutions: general insurance and life assurance organisations, pension funds, unit trusts, investment trusts and open-ended investment companies
  • the structure and operation of UK financial markets: equity, bond, money, foreign exchange markets
  • the relationship between the UK and European financial markets
  • major issues involved in the regulation of financial markets and the role of the state and the central bank.