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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.