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Module ASB-2502:
Personal Finance and Banking

Module Facts

Run by Bangor Business School

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Prof John Ashton

Overall aims and purpose

The module will introduce the main elements of personal financial management and retail banking. The module is aimed at all 2nd year undergraduate students both within the business school and the wider university which have an interest in improving the ways in which they can manage their finances, enhance their financial capability and navigate retail financial services markets. The module is suitable for all persons interested in both their own personal finances and also the provision of personal financial services in the UK and internationally. The module is focused on both developing key skills in managing personal finances as well as assisting an individual to navigate decision making at a time where individuals face increasing responsibility for their financial actions.

Course content

The lecture programme will outline the principle areas of content with specific skills honed within the seminars. The lecture programme will be introduced through considering the importance of personal finance education, the need for financial literacy, a knowledge of retail banking markets and how this relates to the student and graduate experience. The module provides consideration as to the form and use of different financial services encountered in life including debt, pensions, insurance, savings and investments. Students will explore how these markets operate and are regulated. Lastly there is consideration of how to financial customers make decisions in financial services markets, how decision making may be enhnanced and how customers can be mislead by current sales techniques employed by the financial services industry.

Assessment Criteria


B- to B+ (60-69%): Very good performance Most of the relevant information accurately deployed. Good grasp of theoretical/conceptual/practical elements. Good integration of theory/practice/information in pursuit of the assessed work's objectives. Evidence of the use of creative and reflective skills.


D- to D+ (40-49%): No major omissions or inaccuracies in the deployment of information/skills. Some grasp of theoretical/conceptual/practical elements. Integration of theory/practice/information present intermittently in pursuit of the assessed work's objectives.

C- to C+

C- to C+ (50-59%): Much of the relevant information and skills mostly accurately deployed. Adequate grasp of theoretical/conceptual/practical elements. Fair integration of theory/practice/information in the pursuit of the assessed work's objectives. Some evidence of the use of creative and reflective skills.


A- to A+ (70%+): Outstanding performance. The relevant information accurately deployed. Excellent grasp of theoretical/conceptual/practice elements. Good integration of theory/practice/information in pursuit of the assessed work's objectives. Strong evidence of the use of creative and reflective skills.

Learning outcomes

  1. Extend personal financial management skills and knowledge.

  2. Provide financial knowledge of services provided by the financial services and retail banking industry including insurance, loans, mortgages, pensions and investments.

  3. Foster understanding of the sources and applications of finance while a student and a graduate.

  4. Develop insight into the cost of borrowing and the implications of debt.

  5. Develop a critical comprehension of how commonly used financial services are used, priced and sold.

  6. Cultivate a greater level of financial literacy.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
ESSAY Personal Finance and Banking Essay

A 2000 word assignment on an issue of importance for Personal finance and banking. The emphasis is placed on developing wider skills of comparison and critical assessment of financial services decision making and knowledge of the operation and practice in financial services markets.

EXAM Examination

An end of semester examination considering knowledge, comprehension and understanding of the learning outcomes for the Personal Finance and Banking module.


Teaching and Learning Strategy

Private study

The module requires additional private study from the textbook and additional materials signposted within the teaching sessions.The lectures and seminars will supplemented by 168 hours of private study. This will be guided by directed readings in the text book and from additional materials suggested in the classes to inform both the seminars and also the module learning more generally.


Specific skills related to personal finance and banking will be honed within the seminars.There will be 10 seminars of 1 hour duration.


The lecture programme will outline the principal areas of personal finance and banking content within the module. There will be 11 lectures of 2 hours duration.


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

  • An understanding of the factors influencing the investment behaviour and opportunities of private individuals (bonds, equities, and derivatives; risk aversion; risk/return trade-offs; portfolio management and performance measurement; pensions and long term savings; the tax treatment of savings and investments; international diversification; forex risk; objectives of and constraints on institutional investors and advisors).
  • An understanding of financial service activity in the economy, and an appreciation of how finance theory and evidence can be employed to interpret these services (for example, information asymmetry, adverse selection and moral hazard could be employed to analyse the fundamental nature of services, such as insurance, pensions, bank lending and consumer credit, and also explore fundamental problems arising in such financial service provision. Efficient market hypothesis could be used to explore evidence for fund manager performance and the effectiveness of equity and bond saving services).
  • Problem solving and critical analysis: analysing facts and circumstances to determine the cause of a problem and identifying and selecting appropriate solutions.
  • Articulating and effectively explaining information.
  • Conceptual and critical thinking, analysis, synthesis and evaluation.

To cultivate an enhanced level of financial literacy


Resource implications for students

A textbook purchase is recommended.

Talis Reading list

Reading list

Currently Talis list listed as for ASB 2415.

Core text: Callaghan, G., Fribbance, I and Higginson, H. (2006) Personal Finance, John Wiley and Sons, Chichester.

Supplementary reading Redhead, K. (2008) Personal Finance and Investments. A Behavioural Finance Perspective, Routledge, London.

Additional reading.
Agarwal, S., Driscoll, J. C., Gabaix, X, and Laibson, D. (2009). “The Age of Reason: Financial Decision over the Life Cycle and Implications for Regulation”, Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Fall, pp.51-117.

Autor , D. H. (2014). “Skills, education, and the rise of earnings inequality among the “other 99%”, Science, 344, pp. 843-851.

Avery, C. and Turner, S. (2012). “Student Loans: Do College Students Borrow Too Much – Or Not Enough?”, Journal of Economic Perspectives, 26(1), pp.165-192.

Babutsidze, Z. (2012). “How Do Consumers Make Choices? A Survey Of Evidence”, Journal of Economic Surveys Vol. 26, No. 4, pp. 752–762.

Black, J. and Nobles, R. (1998) “Personal Pensions Mis-selling: The Causes And Lessons Of Regulatory Failure”, Modern Law Review, vol.61, no.6, pp. 789-820.

Browning, M. and Crossley, T. F. (2001). “The Life Cycle Model of Consumption and saving”, Journal of Economic Perspectives, vol.15, no.3, pp.3.-22.

Callender, C. and Jackson, J. (2008). Does the fear of debt constrain choice of university and subject of study?”, Studies in Higher Education, 33(4), pp. 405-429.

Cohn, A., Ferh, E. and Maréchal, A. (2014). Business cultures and dishonesty in the banking industry”, Nature, vol.516, no.4, pp. 86-89.

Drucker, P.F. (1991). “Reckoning with the Pension Fund Revolution”, Harvard Business Review, March – April, pp.106-114.

Elliehausen, G. (2008). “Implications of Behavioral Research for the Use and Regulation of Consumer Credit Products”, Finance and Economics Discussion Series, Divisions of Research & Statistics and Monetary Affairs, Federal Reserve Board, Washington, D.C.

Elliott, W. and Lewis, M. (2015). “ Student Debt Effects on Financial Well-Being”, Journal of Economic Surveys, 29(4): 614-636. (US orientated yet interesting all the same)

Ericson, R. V and Doyle, A. (2006). “The Institutionalization of Deceptive Sales in Life Insurance”, British Journal of Criminology, vol.46, pp.993-1010.

Guiso, L. (2012). “Trust and Risk Aversion in the Aftermath of the Great Recession”, European Business Organization Law Review, Vol.13, no.2, pp 195–209.

Guthrie, C. P. and Nicholls, C. M. (2015). “The Personal Budget Project: A Practical introduction to financial literacy”, Journal of Accounting Education, 33: 138-163. (US orientated yet interesting all the same)

Hill, R. P. and Kosup, J. C. (2007). “Consumer Experiences with Predatory Lending Practices”, The Journal of Consumer Affairs, vol. 41, no. 1, pp.29-46.

Llewellyn, D. (1999). “The Economic Rationale for Financial Regulation”, FSA Occasional Paper 1, April.

Luigina Canova, L, Rattazzi A. M. M. and Webley, P. (2005). “The hierarchical structure of saving motives”, Journal of Economic Psychology, vol.26, pp. 21–34.

Moloney N. (2010). Regulating the Retail Markets: Law, Policy, and the Financial Crisis” Current Legal Problems, vol. 63, No.1, pp.375-447.

Perry, V. G. And Motley, C. M. (2009). “Where’s The Fine Print? Advertising And the Mortgage Market Crisis”, California Management Review, vol. 52, no. 1, pp.29-44.

Prelec, D. and Loewenstein, G. (1998). “The Red and Black: Mental Accounting of Savings and Debt”, Marketing Science, vol.17, no.1, pp.4-28.

Stango, V. and Zinman, J. (2009). “What Do Consumers Really Pay on Their Checking and Credit Card Accounts? Explicit, Implicit, and Avoidable Costs”, American Economic Review, vol.99, No.2, pp.424–429.

Wei, S.J and Zhang, X. (2011). “The Competitive Saving Motive: Evidence from Rising Sex Ratios and Savings Rates in China”, Journal of Political Economy, vol. 119, no. 3, pp. 511-564.

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: