NUS Law officially launches Centre for Banking & Finance Law

12 September 2014 | Education
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New centre to be a catalyst for ideas on improving banking and financial systems at the national, regional and global levels

The National University of Singapore (NUS) Faculty of Law has officially launched today a new Centre for Banking & Finance Law (CBFL). The launch ceremony was graced by Mr K Shanmugam, Minister for Law and Minister for Foreign Affairs, as the Guest-of-Honour.

The new centre will bring together local and international bankers, lawyers, regulators and academics to generate scholarship, policy recommendations and exchange of ideas about the vibrancy, robustness, soundness and stability of the banking sector, capital markets and other financial services. CBFL will focus on important aspects of banking and finance law and regulation, including financial industry reform, new regulations, and private law issues.

The launch event, which was attended by about 300 local and international bankers, lawyers, regulators and academics, also featured a Distinguished Speaker Lecture by Professor Philip R Wood, QC (Hon), a world-renowned expert in comparative and cross-border financial law and an experienced practitioner, on the future of international banking and financial law and lawyers. Prof Wood was also joined by a panel of six speakers from the academic, legal and banking sectors, who engaged the audience in a discussion on the topics highlighted in his lecture.

Professor Simon Chesterman, Dean of NUS Faculty of Law, said, “Bringing together expertise that covers the major economies of the region and most of the globe, the Centre for Banking & Finance Law will enhance Singapore's status as an international financial centre and thought-leader in three ways. First, as a convenor, the Centre will engage local and international banks, lawyers, regulators, and academics in a regular exchange of ideas. Secondly, as a thought-leader, the Centre will generate new insights of scholarly value and policy relevance. Thirdly, as a platform, the Centre will ensure that these ideas have an impact in both the classroom and the boardroom.”

Assoc Prof Dora Neo, Director of CBFL, said, “Dedicated research and more informed practice will meet at CBFL, for in-depth and intensive dialogue on important issues affecting the financial services industry. Deeper knowledge and greater policy clarity can then be applied in resolving these issues. This will contribute to advancing Singapore's position as an international financial centre and enhancing trust in banks and financial institutions globally.”

CBFL Leadership Team

Associate Professor Dora Neo, Director of CBFL, is assisted by Associate Professor Alexander Loke, Deputy Director of the Centre, and an executive committee comprising four faculty members of NUS Law. CBFL currently has six academic fellows and one industry fellow, as well as a team of adjunct researchers.

The Centre's Advisory Panel includes Dr Andrew Khoo, Deputy Managing Director (Corporate Development) of the Monetary Authority of Singapore; leading banking and finance lawyers Mr Ng Wai King, Mr Eugene Ooi and Ms Jacqueline Low Mei Lin; and bank counsel, Mr Lam Chee Kin. It also includes two eminent academics, Emeritus Professor Peter Ellinger from NUS Law and Professor Michael Bridge, who holds a dual appointment with NUS Law and the London School of Economics.

CBFL Research and Activities

CBFL fellows and researchers undertake research on important legal topics, such as moneylending and consumer credit in Singapore; contractual clauses commonly used in the financial services industry such as non-reliance clauses and forfeiture for competition clauses; new forms of payment such as bitcoin; banking terminology; reform of insurance law in Singapore; and securities regulation in China.

In addition, CBFL has organised workshops and seminars featuring academics, practitioners and bank counsels from Singapore, as well as guests from countries such as Malaysia, India, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Liechtenstein and Canada. Speakers featured at the events also included experts from the Asian Development Bank and People's Bank of China. CBFL has also collaborated with organisations such as the Brussel's Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), and the Asia Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (ASIFMA) based in Hong Kong. A wide range of topics were covered at these events, including responses to the global financial crisis; the internationalisation of the renminbi; derivatives regulation; dispute resolution in Islamic finance; mobile payments; and market misconduct affecting securities.

In the months ahead, CBFL will be organising two major events - a symposium on banking secrecy in December 2014 and a conference on comparative takeover regulation in July 2015.

For more information on CBFL, please visit