JDOC6287 FinTech finance

1.1 Course details

Course code: LLAW6287 / JDOC6287
Course name: FinTech Finance
Programme offered under: LLM Programme / JD Programme
Semester: Second
Prerequisites / Co-requisites: No
Credit point value: 9 credit / 6 credits
Cap on student numbers: 40

1.2 Course description

The course will appraise the impact of information technology on the implementation of new financial regulations that take into account the regulatory developments of equity finance and debt finance.

The course will focus on financial technology (FinTech) and regulatory technology (RegTech), used increasingly by financial institutions and their regulators to enhance regulatory compliance in and supervision of a sophisticated and fast-changing financial sector. To more systematically analyse the securities regulations that encompass the rules governing the financial instruments issued in capital markets, as well as the actors in these markets in which new financial technologies are being implemented, equity crowdfunding will constitute a major part of the course syllabus. Equity crowdfunding implies a tripartite relationship among the crowdfunding platform (CFP) operator, the fundraiser (i.e. the company that raises funds through the CFP) and the investors (crowdfunders). Behavioural economics postulates that not all investors are rational, including both unsophisticated individual investors and sophisticated institutional investors (such as mutual funds, pension funds and insurance companies). Regulation may thus be used to impose on the issuer (i.e. the company that raises funds by issuing securities) a duty to disclose information about its business plan and finance forecast with a view to curbing the lemon problem. Likewise, investors must prove their financial eligibility to be allowed to invest in equity crowdfunding. In general, the securities sector is characterised by consumer protection and an investor-disclosure system.

RegTech is a new form of FinTech since both are rooted in post-2008 global financial crisis regulatory requirements, although RegTech’s development was preceded by that of FinTech. Notably, the causes underlying FinTech’s and RegTech’s respective developments vary. RegTech is deployed to meet the regulatory challenges created by FinTech. Specifically, RegTech aims to more effectively regulate new commercial transactions facilitated by FinTech, such as payments made through mobile devices and equity crowdfunding through the internet portals which are cornerstones of the proposed course on FinTech finance.

The course will first introduce new financial technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, robo adviser solution and big data, all of which are exemplary of information technology, followed by an exploration of the types of FinTech-enabled products and payment services such as crowdfunding and P2P lending, and ending with a forward-looking approach in tackling some critical and timely issues related to FinTech, including, but not limited to, financial democratisation, improving access to financial system, sharing economy and privacy protection for consumers.

1.3 Course teachers

Name E-mail address Office Consultation
Course convenor Emily Lee eleelawhku.hk CCT 613 By email

2.1 Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs) for this course

CLO 1 Critically examine the legal, economic and entrepreneurial implications of crowdfunding as an alternative funding source for business and financial market innovations. This will help bridge the gap of understanding between the functional roles of FinTech and RegTech and their respective developments.

CLO 2 Describe and explain various FinTech-enabled financial services and payment methods, including (‘equity-based’) crowdfunding, (‘debt-based’) peer-to-peer (P2P) lending, and third-party mobile and online payment platforms (e.g. Alipay and Paypal), all of which are exemplary innovations to the development of alternative investments and the evolution of private equity and venture capital.

CLO 3 Demonstrate an awareness of FinTech’s impact on the design of optimal regulation for financial innovation in capital raising and the pursuit of financial regulatory objectives, which include, but are not limited to, encouraging financial inclusion, safeguarding financial stability, preserving market integrity, maintaining consumer protection and promoting and ensuring fair market competition.

CLO 4 Apply interdisciplinary knowledge and cross-sector research skills; for example, applying economic behavioural theories in the economic analysis of law to critically examine (1) the risks associated with internet-based investments or business financing; (2) the legal aspects of artificial intelligence, particularly in view of the privacy protection law that governs the collection and storage of individual consumers’ personal data by financial services providers.

CLO 5 Understand, from a comparative law angle, the impact of FinTech on securities laws in the post-2008 global financial crisis era in major FinTech countries and jurisdictions (e.g. in the US, the UK, China, Singapore and Hong Kong) that are characterised by financial innovation, consumer protection and an investor-disclosure system. 

2.2 LLM Programme Learning Outcomes (PLOs) & Programme Learning Outcomes to be achieved in this course

PLO A On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to demonstrate a solid understanding of the body of legal knowledge and the capacity to conduct research on, critically analyse and evaluate legal principles, at a level required to meet the standards and expectations of the legal profession and the community at large.

PLO B On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to apply their legal knowledge and research skills to practical situations or theoretical challenges, and utilise their comparative understanding of the law and its political, social and cultural contexts to provide original and creative insights to legal problems.

PLO C On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to apply the knowledge, lawyering skills and legal reasoning to real and novel situations in life, with a view to resolving issues, problems and disputes within the legal parameters.

PLO D On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to demonstrate the ability to present effectively legal arguments in the professional context, as well as conveying and explaining the law effectively to lay clients and members of the larger community.

PLO E On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to appreciate the underlying moral values of the law and ethics in the profession and the legal system in the broad social, economic, political and cultural contexts: justice, the Rule of Law, and protection of rights and liberties which form the fabrics of a civilised society, and the importance of upholding these values by the legal community.

PLO F On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to develop a strong awareness of social issues and conditions, and utilise analytical abilities and rhetorical advocacy to provide leadership for the betterment of the human community.

2.3 LLM Programme Learning Outcomes to be achieved in this course

CLO 1  ✓  ✓
CLO 2  ✓  ✓  ✓
CLO 3  ✓  ✓

3.1 Assessment Summary

Assessment task Due date Weighting Feedback method* Course learning outcomes
In-class assessment TBC 20% 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Final take home exam TBC 80% 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
*Feedback method (to be determined by course teacher)
1 A general course report to be disseminated through Moodle
2 Individual feedback to be disseminated by email / through Moodle
3 Individual review meeting upon appointment
4 Group review meeting
5 In-class verbal feedback

3.2 Assessment Detail

To be advised by course convenor(s).

3.3 Grading Criteria

Please refer to the following link: http://www.law.hku.hk/course/grading-criteria/

4.1 Learning Activity Plan

Seminar: 3 hours /week for 12 teaching weeks
Private study time: 9.5 hours / week for 12 teaching weeks

Remarks: the normative student study load per credit unit is 25 ± 5 hours (ie. 150 ± 30 hours for a 6-credit course), which includes all learning activities and experiences within and outside of classroom, and any assessment task and examinations and associated preparations.

4.2 Details of Learning Activities

To be advised by the convenor(s).

5.1 Resources

Reading materials: Reading materials are posted on Moodle
Core reading list: TBA
Recommended reading list: TBA

5.2 Links

Please refer to the following link: http://www.law.hku.hk/course/learning-resources/

By the publication of the course profile online, the Faculty deems the student as having been notified of the course requirements.