Regulation of Household Credit in the UK before the Financial Crisis: deregulation, market building or inadequate regulation?

Hosted by ELLM Alumni Association

Zoom Webinar


Omar Salem

Omar Salem

Managing Associate, Linklaters


David Kershaw

David Kershaw

Professor, LSE Department of Law

The Labour Party's 1997 manifesto said "we will reject the boom and bust policies which caused the collapse of the housing market." As Chancellor, Gordon Brown presided over a decade of uninterrupted consecutive quarters of economic growth only for this to end with the global financial crisis when he finally became Prime Minister.

Various theories have been put forward for explaining New Labour's approach to regulating household credit, both amongst academics and in the political sphere. One is that New Labour pursued an essentially deregulatory approach to household credit and the banking industry more generally. Another theory is that, while New Labour did introduce significant regulation of household credit and the banks, this was primarily, or at least in large part, about "market building". That is, creating the regulatory framework required to support a market in household credit, rather than focussing on other aims such as consumer protection or micro or macro financial stability. Finally, it can be argued that New Labour did attempt to appropriately regulate the household credit market, including in relation to consumer protection and micro/macro financial stability but came up short. In this presentation, Omar Salem will evaluate, in turn, how the three theories - deregulation, market building and inadequate regulation – explain New Labour's approach to the regulation of household credit.

Omar Salem is a Managing Associate at Linklaters, London, specialising in financial regulation and public advocacy. He provides advice on complex regulatory matters, transactions and investigations, as well as on legal aspects of reputation management. His clients include banks, brokers, asset managers, private equity houses, payment service providers, funds, trading and clearing platforms, mortgage lenders and consumer credit providers. Prior to his legal career, Omar worked for a major think tank and in the UK Parliament. 

David Kershaw is Professor of Law at the LSE and Director of the Executive LLM Programme. He is also the General Editor of the Modern Law Review. He joined the LSE in 2006. Prior to joining the LSE he was a Lecturer in Law at the University of Warwick between 2003-2006. He is admitted to the New York Bar and is a qualified UK solicitor. Prior to his academic career, he qualified as a Solicitor at Herbert Smith, London and practised corporate law in the Mergers & Acquisitions Group of Shearman & Sterling in New York and London. He holds a LLM and SJD from Harvard Law School and a LLB from the University of Warwick.

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The Department of Law (@LSELaw) is one of the world's top law schools with an international reputation for the quality of its teaching and legal research. Our community is one of the largest in the School, and has played a major role in policy debates, policy-making and the education of lawyers and law teachers globally.

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This event is organised in coordination with the ELLM Alumni Association.

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