In 2008 Satoshi Nakamoto released a White Paper introducing the cryptocurrency ‘bitcoin’ to the public. Intended to revolutionise the payments process, bitcoin is a peer-to-peer (and therefore distributed) ‘electronic cash system’ that facilitates relatively fast online payments with low transaction costs and ‘without going through a financial institution’. As a currency, it is perhaps not surprising that bitcoin has been met with both scepticism from the public and resistance from traditional financial institutions. In contrast, as a platform, the distributed ledger technology (DLT) that underpins bitcoin (known as the blockchain) is now witnessing mainstream adoption by major financial institutions. This transition comes as banks and other financial institutions are recognising the blockchain’s significant potential to ‘radically transform’ the financial services industry, resulting in what some are calling the ‘fourth industrial revolution’. As a consequence, it is becoming increasingly clear that DLTs have the potential to similarly disrupt the shadow banking sector as they enable innovative business models to be adopted by both banks (acting outside of the traditional regulated realm) and non-bank institutions (to conduct financial services activities).
Iris H.-Y. Chiu, Michael McKee, Anna P. Donovan, Rod Edmunds, Andreas Kokkinis, John Lowry, Marc T. Moore and Arad Reisberg
Corporate governance in financial institutions has come under the spotlight since the banking crisis in the UK in 2008-9. In many respects, the banking business raises unique problems for corporate governance that are not found in other corporate sectors. The Law on Corporate Governance in Banks is the first work to provide a detailed survey and practical examination of key topical issues in the corporate governance of banks and financial institutions, including governance structure, collective board responsibility, directors’ liability, shareholders, and risk management. Combining the insight and expertise of leading corporate lawyers in the field with rigorous academic analysis, the book unpicks and clarifies the legal issues that confront corporate and banking law practitioners when advising banks and financial institutions.