Understanding banking law


In the UK bank law is governed by a set of guidelines called the Banking Code. This element of banking law is voluntary, but all financial organisations support the code as part of their normal working practices.

If you are not sure whether your bank supports this part of banking law, ask them as it could affect any complaint or dispute you may enter into with them. Note there is a different banking code for businesses called the Business Banking Code; this has slightly different provisions to the general Bank Code that is aimed at the general public.

The Banking Code applies to: 

  • Savings and deposit accounts
  • Current accounts
  • Payment services including foreign exchange
  • Cards and PIN numbers
  • Loans and overdrafts

Bank law ensures that when you are dealing with any financial institution that subscribes to the Code they will treat you and your account fairly. Elements of your accounts such as charges that may change regularly must be communicated to you within 30 days before the change comes into effect. Bank law also states that any changes to your bank’s terms and conditions must be sent to you. Overall, bank law seeks to ensure that the relationship you have with the financial service providers you use is lawful and fair at all times.

The current banking law also has details about how disputes should be handled. In the first instance you should complain directly to the financial service provider you are using. In most cases you can resolve your dispute. If not, you can go to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) that can act as an intermediary.

Your last course of action is to take the financial institution you are in dispute with to court. This can be a long and expensive way to resolve your dispute. As such, having fully qualified legal representation is absolutely essential. Never try and handle this type of case yourself, as the law is complex in these areas. Also, the court will want to see that all parties in the dispute have proper legal representation as the case progresses. If you are thinking of taking this kind of action, contact a financial services solicitor as early as you can.

If you would like to obtain legal advice about financial services disputes, Contact Law can put you in touch with a local specialist financial services / law solicitor free of charge. So, if you have any questions or would like our help in finding local financial services / law solicitors please call us on 0800 1777 162 or complete the web-form above.

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