Nottingham Fintech Research Network
Launched at a major international conference in Nottingham in 2018, the Fintech Research Network is an interdisciplinary, international collaboration between researchers, practitioners, regulators and policymakers.
The Fintech Resarch Network involves staff from Nottingham University Business School, and the University’s Schools of Computer Science, Geography, Mathematical Sciences, Economics, and Philosophy.
A holistic view of Fintech
The Network’s aim is to take a holistic view of fintech that includes regulators, policymakers and, importantly, consumers.
It connects many kinds of experts to investigate the benefits, risks and challenges of the fintech revolution. It has won British Academy funding to work with Fudan University on insurtech innovation in the UK and China; is collaborating with Aviva on clarifying their policy documents; and has funding from EPSRC for a PhD studentship using Experian data.
There are also plans underway to develop connections with fintech firms in Nottingham city to bring the industry and research together.
The Network is directed by Aviva Chair in Risk and Insurance, Professor Meryem Duygun. Meryem’s expertise is in banking, risk, financial technologies and insurtech. Her current research on insurtech is funded by the British Academy.
The established versus the emergent
"The primary drivers of fintech are well known", said Meryem. "They include unremitting advances in computing power, the advent of data ubiquity, improvements in artificial intelligence and machine learning, the ever-distending nexus of “smart” devices and the concomitant capacity to gather, store and access information.
"Yet fintech is much more than an apparently straightforward story of the emergent steamrollering the established into extinction. It is about the likely scale of risks and the basic need to ensure stability. It is about balancing the quest for financial inclusion with the desire to maintain individual privacy. It is about legislation and limits. It is about the fundamental structure of a digital, “always on” society and its ethical, economic and identity-related implications. By way of illustration, consider the rapid ascent of digital lending in the aftermath of the global financial crisis.
"There is little doubt that fintech represents the future: we just need to understand precisely what shape that future might take."