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2010/1 Module Catalogue
Module Provider: School of Management Short Name: IFSO1
Level: M Module Co-ordinator: MASON A Dr (SoM)
Number of credits: 15 Number of ECTS credits: 7.5
Module Availability
Assessment Pattern

Unit(s) of Assessment  

Weighting Towards Module Mark (%)  

Course Assignment  


Two-hour closed book examination 


Qualifying Condition(s) 


Module Overview

The module will introduce a number of key forces driving change in the financial services industry.  It will both give students an opportunity to consider the resulting impact of such forces and relate these to academic economic and business strategy principles and theories.  

The module will be split into three key themes:  

  • Strategy and Competition 
  • Lending Practices  
  • Corporate structures and the financial environment 

Module Aims

The aim of the module is to introduce students to the competitive landscape facing the financial services industry. It will enable them to consider the effects of this competitive environment on key aspects of the industry, such as the impact of new business models on the principles and structures of lending.  It will support students in developing a critical analysis of the structures and strategies of the industry and in establishing a global understanding of banking businesses and market structures. It will also set out a framework for international comparison, which will be drawn upon to synthesise a critical analysis of challenges facing the financial services sector.  

Additionally, it will enable students to evaluate how the strategic forces impact the operational structures of banking institutions and the relationship of the industry to its key customer segments through the lens of bank lending strategy and operations.
Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:  

  • Contrast and evaluate different intermediary models used in different
  • sections of the market and in different territories
  • Evaluate different structural and competitive strategies   
  • Identify and evaluate the key functions in major banking groups   
  • Explain the key principles of, and market for, lending   
  • Critically analyse alternative lending models   
  • Work in groups to prepare case study material 
  • Identify, interpret and critically evaluate a range of published industry and academic resources, research and papers relating to banking and lending   
  • Produce logical arguments in a range of appropriate formats that clearly and concisely explain, analyse and evaluate key issues in banking and lending making use of both academic and industry research and relevant examples   

Module Content

Strategy and Competition   

  • Competition and concentration in financial services markets   
  • Competitive models in retail financial services  

Lending Practices 

  • Demand for loans 
  • Attributes of good lending  

Corporate Structures and the Financial Environment  

  • Structure of the financial services enterprise   
  • Financial services operations strategy   
  • Globalisation   
  • Disruptions to the market  

Summation and Application of Learning to Current Market Conditions

Methods of Teaching/Learning

The teaching and learning strategy is designed to support students’ understanding of key concepts and the development of their intellectual, practical and transferable skills as stated in the module aims and learning outcomes.   

Teaching and learning will be from ifs’ City campus and will be through a combination of intensive face-to-face block teaching in the form of lectures and seminars (including contributions from senior industry practitioners); and learning centred on the virtual learning environment, supported by students’ independent study.   

Each block of learning at the ifs campus will consist of  

  • Two hours of lectures including discussion time per week   
  • One hour of seminar/industry workshops (the latter taking place when industry guests are invited)  
  • Two hours of weekly office hours  

Students will be provided with a core text and course handbook.  Where relevant, the module will make use of industry-derived case studies.  

E-Learning support via U-Learn and myifslearning will include: 

  • Learning materials  
  • E-book and e-Journal access   
  • Discussion forums   
  • Lecturer/tutor support  

Students will also be encouraged to identify and share relevant readings and other links with the course group to support their own knowledge creation.

Selected Texts/Journals

Required text  

Shelagh Heffernan Modern Banking (John Wiley & Sons, 2004)  


Kent Matthews & John Thompson The Economics of Banking (2nd Edition, John Wiley & Sons, 2008)

Mishkin, Frederic S. The Economics of Money, Banking, and Financial Markets (8th Edition, Pearson Education, 2006)   

Supplementary reading 

, P. Business Lending, (3rd Edition, ifs Publishing, 2005) 



Slager, A. The Internationalization of Banks: Patterns, Strategies and Performance, (Palgrave Macmillan Studies in Banking and Financial Institutions, 2006)   

Ennew, C.T. & Waite, N. Financial Services Marketing: An International Guide to Principles and Practice (Butterworth-Heinemann: Oxford, and Burlington , , 2007)


There are a number of other journals that could contain relevant material. Students need to ensure they are keeping up-to-date with issues relating to financial services and lending. This short selection provides a starting point:  

  • The Banker 
  • Financial World (students will receive this automatically as members of ifs) 
  • Journal of Banking and Finance 
  • Journal of Financial Services Research 
  • Journal of Financial Intermediation 
  • Journal of Economics & Business 
  • ABA Banking Journal 
  • Banking Strategies 
  • Journal of Bank Regulation 
  • International Journal of Bank Marketing 
  • Journal of Financial Services Marketing Journal of Retail Banking 
  • ABA Bank Marketing
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