University of Nottingham: University of Nottingham launches inclusive FinTech research hub

A new research centre focused on harnessing financial technologies to promote inclusive innovation and culture in the financial services industry has been launched by the University of Nottingham.

The Centre for Inclusive Financial Technology (INFINITY) is dedicated to research that uses up-to-date modelling and data analysis techniques to improve financial inclusion. In doing so, INFINITY aims to promote financial inclusivity and social good, embracing diverse talent and communities to create the future of financial services.

INFINITY will be based at the university’s Castle Meadow Campus in Nottingham city centre.

INFINITY experts will collaborate with industry, policymakers and the third sector to undertake research on the following key themes:

Inclusive analytics, which seeks to take the latest data analysis techniques and apply these to financial technology. This work focuses on translating the latest innovations in data science to applications in financial technology, leading to improved product design, decisions and consumer outcomes.

Inclusive financial services, which focuses on how society can increase financial inclusion and use the power of financial technology for good. This work embraces new opportunities to create products for under-served markets, and works with policymakers on key challenges in consumer protection. This work also seeks to support the financial services sector by harnessing the power of data to promote equality, diversity and inclusion within the sector.

Inclusive risk, which creates future models for responsible risk measurement and management – such as climate risks, risks around inequality and geopolitical tensions. Arising from existing work undertaken with the UK government during the coronavirus pandemic, this work develops new models of complex risks, such as pandemic, climate and political risk. This work is giving rise to new risk products, helping the economy to measure, evaluate and mitigate emerging risks.
The Centre for INFINITY has been founded by Professor Meryem Duygun, of Nottingham University Business School.

We are in a critical and exciting moment. How do we look at the incredible innovations happening in finance and banking, the increasing decentralisation of banking, the growth of the fintech industry, and the amazing opportunities they provide to bring financial inclusion to the world securely?
Professor Meryem Duygun, Aviva Chair in Risk and Insurance at Nottingham University Business School
Professor Duygun continued: “INFINITY is born out of the melding of these exciting innovations in finance and the imperative to promote financial inclusion for the good of the economy and society.”

Professor Duygun was named one of the most influential women leading innovation in the UK financial services industry by Innovate Finance in their Women in FinTech Powerlist 2020. She is an endowed chaired professor in Risk and Insurance, funded by Aviva, and has been conferred a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. In addition, she directs the University’s Nottingham FinTech Research Network and the Global Centre for Banking and Financial Innovation.

She is the first academic in the UK to have established a FinTech research network, attracting funding from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). The University of Nottingham FinTech Research Network unites academics, industry figures and policymakers in analysing and trailblazing the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning in the financial services industry.