Consider whether banks are profit maximisers and how they operate in a risky environment.

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Introduction / Overview: This coursework draws upon selected issues from Theme 3: Systemic Risk, and Theme 4: Required rates of return in the post-financial crisis era. Your answer should reflect aspects of your study of those materials, together with any additional research you undertake. At Masters level, what is important is to not just draw from materials located in the core study materials but to supplement them with further additional research you undertake. For example, if you intend to review the way the Basle Accords have developed into BIS3 and the way this is used as the current regulatory model then additional research outside the core material provided to you will be necessary. In addition, it is important to analyse the points made there is a need to review the pros and cons of issues presented and explain why the points made are important to help you to answer the issues in the question. Once you have located materials from a range of sources it is important that you do not merely regurgitate statements made within those materials but, rather, to analyse and explore them in the context of this assignment’s requirement(s). The analysis will demonstrate your ability to select appropriate material from the core and additional research materials and discusses the issues presented. This will enable you to set out valid arguments for and against the underpinning thrust of the essay, analyse and review these points, and emerge with a cohesive set of contentions in support of/against arguments you are examining - analysing, sifting, and evaluating - leading to a justifiable conclusion. There is no right or wrong answer to this assignment. The key is to provide a strong set of arguments and to draw relevant and robust conclusions based on the work you have presented. Relevant examples should be included as a means of supporting and developing points made but not as merely repeating issues that have already been presented. Some thoughts on process for this essay As you read through the points detailed below, be aware that given the nature and scope of the essay, there is in effect no one set answer. The essay will be judged on the merits of the scope and relevance of the materials selected, the arguments and contentions put forward, and the flow of the work. It is one matter to identify relevant materials and set out key points, it is another to set them out in a manner – assemble them – in a way which makes sense. It is not uncommon for individual paragraphs to read well on a standalone basis but to lack an ongoing narrative thread - a story line – which promotes cohesion and integration, aspects which invariably make it easier for the marker to award higher marks. In this particular essay, given

i) the context set, and

ii) the task/requirement, it would make sense to (in whichever order you as the essay author feels appropriate): i. Set out an introduction clearly outlining what it is you are looking at, why you are looking at it, and how you intend to set about looking at it. ii. Consider why do banks exist?

iii. Examine the risks faced by banks and how they manage these risks.

iv. Consider whether banks are profit maximisers and how they operate in a risky environment. v. What regulatory regime do banks work under?

vi. Consider whether regulation is restrictive to the operations of banks.

vii. Has the regulatory environment changed significantly in the post financial crisis era?

viii. Explain why profits have changed post-financial crisis relative to their levels before the financial crisis.

ix. Identify and explore tensions which may arise (or indeed already exist) between drivers to reduce systemic risk and pressures to increase profits.

x. Draw a conclusion on whether regulation helps or hinders banks in aiming to achieve profit maximisation. Ensure that your conclusions are justified through the evidence you have provided.

xi. Ensure that all of the points above that you include together with any others, are set within a piece of writing which is integrated and coherent and ‘flows’. Do not put forward a set of standalone paragraphs which, if the essay were a book, might be wonderful individual chapters but as book do not flow into and out of each other, generating a reading experience which is likely for the reader to be unsatisfactory, probably unconvincing, and certainly a deflating experience – and leading to a lower mark.

xii. Key points to remember:

a) adhere to the word count and instructions regarding use of charts, diagrams, tables, etc. and

b) incorporate ‘proper’ referencing - whether we like it or not ‘proper’ referencing is considered an important ingredient of Masters-level work. Harvard-style referencing is preferred but other valid styles may be used. Apply your referencing consistently.

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