Electronic banking services in the United Kingdom : legal infrastructures versus technological outgrowth
This thesis examines the development of banking law against the expeditious development of the technology used in banking systems. Therefore, this study traces and compares the development relating to electronic banking in two different perspectives: first it examines the ongoing development in terms of technology; second it investigates the practical and proposed legal techniques of controlling this rapidly changing field. The thesis traces the development of technical issues that influence banking transactions (including debit and credit cards) and other newly authorised services (like EFTPOS; ATM Home banking; Internet banking and digital cash). The thesis also identifies the existing risks associated with electronic funds transfer (such as fraud; error and system malfunction) and presents the need for security not only at the technological level but also at the organisational and legislative levels as well. In the United Kingdom the law has developed considerably in response to the development of technology in the banking sector and more developments are imminent. For example: - Regulations were introduced in 1996 to allow the extension of cheque truncation; - The Theft (Amendment) Act 1996 was approved as a result of case law development; - The Data Protection Act 1998 was enacted as a result of the EC Data Protection Directive 1995; - The Civil Evidence Act 1995 removes two obstacles to the admissibility of computer records namely, Hearsay Rule and the Best Evidence Rule; - The Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations (1994 & 1999) which will guard against unreasonable and unfair terms. - Banking Code (revised edition was published in 1998) aims to set out the standards for banking practice to be observed by banks and card issuers when dealing with personal customers. These and other developments have had an important impact on the law relating to consumer protection. The thesis gives an up-to-date account of legal measures relevant to electronic banking services.