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Chapter

Cover A Practical Approach to Alternative Dispute Resolution

21. Complaints, Grievances, and Ombudsmen  

This chapter addresses complaints, grievances, and ombudsman schemes, which are designed to provide effective and speedy relief where problems arise between a customer and an organization. It has become increasingly common for government agencies, companies, and organizations to have internal complaints and grievance procedures to look into and respond to any problems raised by their customers of a formal nature. It is seen to be good for customer relations for problems to be investigated by someone within the organization and for the problem to be resolved with the customer quickly and before it escalates into a contentious dispute. Efficient and effective complaints and grievance procedures also form part of an organization's quality control or quality assurance procedures, which are aimed at ensuring that high levels of service are maintained, with any weaknesses being addressed swiftly before other customers are affected by similar problems. Meanwhile, ombudsmen act like umpires in complaints brought against public or private organizations.

Chapter

Cover Banking Law and Regulation

2. The banker–customer relationship  

Iris Chiu and Joanna Wilson

This chapter discusses the relationship between a bank and its customer. The Bills of Exchange Act 1882 defines a banker to include ‘a body of persons whether incorporated or not who carry on the business of banking’. Meanwhile, upon the opening of an account, a person will be deemed to have become a customer of the bank and there is no requirement for a habitual course of dealings. Although the relationship between a bank and its customer is primarily governed by contract law, there may be circumstances in which the bank undertakes additional obligations, thereby taking the relationship beyond the remit of contract law such that the bank becomes subject to fiduciary duties of trust and loyalty. The chapter then considers the fiduciary nature of the banker–customer relationship as well as undue influence.

Chapter

Cover Principles of Banking Law

7. The Bank–Customer Relationship  

Ross Cranston, Emilios Avgouleas, Kristin van Zweiten, Theodor van Sante, and Christoper Hare

This chapter focuses on the customer and the services which banks offer to customers. It begins by filling in some of the details about the customers of banks and modern banking services. In this context it gives attention to how the relationship between banks and their customers may be characterized as a matter of law. Contract emerges from this as the overarching feature of the relationship; thus, the second and third sections of the chapter discuss banking contracts and their regulation. The final section turns to a specific banking service, the taking of deposits. Historically this has been the core banking service, and deposit-taking has been central to any definition of banking.

Chapter

Cover Complete Contract Law

2. Agreement Part I: Offer  

This chapter discusses the principles relating to offers. For an offer to be made there must be an apparent intention to make one. Ordinary displays of priced goods are regarded as invitations to treat, which customers make an offer to buy. Ordinary adverts are regarded as invitations to treat, but one can be an offer if there is an apparent intention to make one. Meanwhile, an auction ‘without reserve’ will ordinarily amount to an offer for a unilateral contract to sell to the highest bidder. Ordinarily, an invitation for tenders is an invitation to treat and each tender is an offer. When an invitation for tenders says that the most competitive tender will result in a contract, it will be treated as an offer for a unilateral contract under which the best tender will be accepted. Offers can be ended by lapse, revocation, rejection, and (possibly) death.

Chapter

Cover Intellectual Property Concentrate

9. Passing-off and trade marks  

Passing-off is a common law cause of action that protects traders with goodwill in their business against misrepresentations made by their competitors which confuse customers as to the source of goods or services. The typical passing-off scenario is where a trader, by the use of a brand name, logo, slogan, or packaging, deceives customers into thinking that its products or services are associated with another trader. Trade marks can be registered for signs or symbols that identify products or services as coming from a particular trader, so to be registrable a trade mark must be distinctive of a trader’s goods and not similar to any earlier registered mark, or a non-registered mark that is in use. Registration of a trade mark gives substantial advantages over relying on passing-off. The law of registered trade marks has been harmonized by the European Union.

Book

Cover Banking Law and Regulation

Iris H-Y Chiu and Joanna Wilson

Banking Law fully addresses the current landscape of banking law and regulation post the 2008 financial crisis. Coverage is balanced between transactional, regulatory, and private law topics across UK banking law, as well as European and international law. The text aims to cover everything needed for a full understanding. Topics covered include: the banker–customer relationship, payment, regulatory architecture in the UK and the European Union, macroprudential regulation, banking culture, governance, incentives, crisis management and resolution, and combatting financial crime.

Chapter

Cover Banking Law and Regulation

1. Introduction to banking law and regulation  

Iris Chiu and Joanna Wilson

This introductory chapter provides an overview of banking law and regulation. Banking law and regulation covers private commercial law developed through banking custom, standards of good practice, and the common law, which together have a long history of shaping and refining the rights and obligations of banks and their customers. Consumer protection lies at the heart of many banking law and regulatory initiatives, which often seek to address or rebalance the superior bargaining position of banks in the bank–customer relationship. In recent decades, public regulatory sources of law in banking regulation have become multi-layered and complex, ranging from international to European and national regulation. The chapter also describes the nature of the banking business as well as its types and scope.

Book

Cover Principles of Banking Law

Sir Ross Cranston, Emilios Avgouleas, Kristin van Zwieten, Christopher Hare, and Theodor van Sante

Principles of Banking Law provides an authoritative take on banking and services law, with coverage of global banking regulation, payment systems, capital markets, and trade finance. The text takes an international perspective, helping locate domestic banking law and financial law in its wider context. It takes a themed, policy-oriented approach to the subject. The text is composed of four parts. The first part looks at banks and bank regulation. Part II considers banks and customers. Part III examines payment and payment systems. The final part looks at banks and finance.

Chapter

Cover Competition Law

16. Vertical agreements  

This chapter examines the application of Article 101 TFEU and the Chapter I prohibition in the UK Competition Act 1998 to distribution agreements. The chapter begins with a discussion of distribution chains in the modern economy, looking at the various ways in which producers market their goods or services to consumers; these have been enormously enhanced by the emergence of the digital economy. This is followed by sections on how the law applies to producers carrying on their own distribution function (‘vertical integration’), commercial agency and vertical sub-contracting relationships. It discusses the competition policy considerations raised by distribution agreements, and explains the application of Article 101 to various different types of distribution agreements. This is followed by a section on the provisions of Regulation 330/2010, the block exemption for distribution agreements, and the individual application of Article 101(3) to distribution agreements. The chapter then contains sections on Regulation 461/2010 on motor vehicle distribution. Finally, it deals with the application of the Chapter I prohibition in the UK Competition Act 1998 to distribution agreements.

Chapter

Cover Competition Law

21. Mergers (2): EU law  

This chapter examines EU merger control. The chapter is organized as follows. Section 2 provides an overview of EU merger control. Section 3 discusses the jurisdictional rules which determine whether a particular merger should be investigated by the European Commission in Brussels or by the national competition authorities (‘the NCAs’) of the Member States. Section 4 deals with the procedural considerations such as the mandatory pre-notification to the Commission of mergers that have a Union dimension and the timetable within which the Commission must operate. Section 5 discusses the substantive analysis of mergers under the EU Merger Regulation (EUMR), and section 6 explains the procedure whereby the Commission may authorise a merger on the basis of commitments, often referred to as remedies, offered by the parties to address its competition concerns. The subsequent sections describe the Commission’s powers of investigation and enforcement, judicial review of Commission decisions by the EU Courts and cooperation between the Commission and other competition authorities, both within and outside the EU. The chapter concludes with an examination of how the EUMR merger control provisions work in practice.

Chapter

Cover Competition Law

22. Mergers (3): UK  

This chapter discusses UK law on the control of mergers. The chapter is organized as follows. Section 2 provides an overview of the domestic system of merger control. Section 3 explains the procedure of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) when determining whether a merger should be referred for an in-depth ‘Phase 2’ investigation and when deciding to accept ‘undertakings in lieu’ of a reference. Section 4 describes how Phase 2 investigations are conducted and Section 5 discusses the ‘substantially lessening competition’ (‘SLC’) test. Section 6 explains the enforcement powers in the Enterprise Act 2002, including the remedies that the CMA can impose in merger cases. The subsequent sections discuss various supplementary matters, such as powers of investigation and enforcement. The chapter concludes with a discussion of how the merger control provisions work in practice and a brief account of the provisions on public interest cases, other special cases and mergers in the water industry. The withdrawal by the UK from the EU means that many mergers that were subject to a ‘one-stop shop’ under EU law are now subject to investigation in the UK as well.