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Institute of Banking and Finance Law


The Institute of Banking and Finance Law is one of Europe’s leading research centres on Banking and Finance law. Its members have been successful in publishing books and articles in internationally refereed journals.

Research projects

The Institute’s research covers the most topical subjects in the field of banking and finance and include: central banking, international banking, international capital markets, international monetary law, derivatives, corporate finance, M&As, EU financial law, resolution and insolvency of financial institutions and financial crisis management, banking and financial regulation, Islamic law, WTO law, Preferential Trade Agreements, international investment law, sovereign debt management and restructuring, insurance law, ethics in business and finance, and corporate social responsibility. The individual profiles of each member provide a more detailed description of their individual research projects. Moreover, the Institute is involved in a variety of joint publications and research projects, for example:

Panelists at the Sovering Debt Forum Launch

The Sovereign Debt Forum (SDF) is the result of a collaboration between Queen Mary University of London (Centre for Commercial Law Studies, CCLS) and Georgetown University (Institute of International Economic Law, IIEL) and was launched at the International Monetary Fund in Washington DC on 21 October 2019. In the spring of 2020, the European University Institute became a member of the SDF.

Professor Rosa Maria Lastra, Sir John Lubbock Chair in Banking Law and Chair of the Institute of Banking and Finance Law at the Centre for Commercial Law Studies (CCLS), is an academic director of the forum with Anna Gelpern (Georgetown). Visiting Professorial Fellow at the School of Law at Queen Mary, Lee Buchheit, is also a Founding Director of the forum with, Mitu Gulati (Duke), and Sean Hagan (Georgetown). Professor Rodrigo Olivares-Caminal, Professor of Professor of Banking and Finance Law at CCLS, Professor Ugo Panizza from Graduate Institute, and Mark Weidemaier of North Carolina University are affiliated scholars of the Forum.

This Project, administered by Queen Mary University of London Centre for Commericial Law Studies, is funded by the ESRC under the Macro-Economic Finance Hub of 'Rebuilding Macroeconomics,' a large collaborative Project at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research.

The research group comprises Principal Investigator Professor Rosa Lastra (Sir John Lubbock Chair in Banking Law, QMUL CCLS) and Co-Investigators Dr Jason Grant Allen (Senior Fellow, Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society), Dr David Andolfatto (Senior Vice President, St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank), Mr Simon Gleeson (Partner, Clifford Chance), Dr Michael Kumhof (Senior Research Advisor, Bank of England), and Professor Saule T. Omarova (Beth & Marc Goldberg Professor of Law, Cornell University). It will run from September 2019 to August 2020. 

Lawyers and economists seem to approach money orthogonally—economists taking a more functional approach that includes a broader range of phenomena within the definition, lawyers emphasising legal tender status and the chattel characteristics of the conventional, core form of money—banknotes and coins. But there is commonality between legal and economic conceptions of money, too. Legal treatises over the past decade or two have given more importance to economic notions of monetary “aggregates” and the fact that things like commercial bank deposits—bi-lateral obligations between a bank and a customer—seem to function like money. 

“Law and economics” is not a one-way street, either; law makes important contributions to economic conceptions of money. Some economists approach money as a spontaneous creation of private market forces. Law provides the essential micro-transactional apparatus that such theories assume. Others stress the role of state organs in the creation and maintenance of a money system, especially in the modern context. Law in turn provides the essential constitutional framework that such theories assume. In all cases, legal theory might provide important impulses that will assist macro-economists revising conventional theories and approaches to understanding money in light of technological change in our century. In particular, law highlights the need for a granular view of what is actually happening in e.g. payment with a banknote (change of property in a chattel), with bank deposits (e.g. destruction of one liability, creation of a new one possibly with a new bank), or with “virtual currency” (currently under debate). It highlights the importance of the legally-constructed notion of the monetary unit and promises to help organise and rank the classical functions of “money” as a medium of exchange, store of value, and unit of account. 

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