Understanding modern financial systems

The role of money, banks and financial systems has changed considerably in the last 30 years. The tabloid image of banks as staid, respectable if unimaginative organisations has been replaced by one of amoral high-stakes gamblers. But beneath the perceptions, fundamental changes have taken place in the way the international financial system is organised.

In BCEF, we constantly monitor developments to help us understand modern financial systems. Our research has an international impact, reflecting the effect of the banking sector across traditional geographical boundaries. But in addition to banking, there are the so-called 'shadow banks' - non-bank organisations like insurance companies or hedge funds. They have similar roles to banks, offer similar products and services, but crucially they sit outside the systems that regulate the ‘traditional’ banking sector.

It's a growth area, one playing a bigger role in the global economy and as such is one of the fields of expertise for our members. We also look at the stock markets and derivatives trading, as well as the issues affecting finance at a corporate and SME level. The fluctuations in the economy over the last decade are reflected in our work on business cycles and financial instability.

Our members engage with key players in national and international finance, and the media. We liaise with the Bank of England, the IMF and other major global financial institutions. For example, Professor Daniela Gabor has addressed the European Parliament, and Dr Jo Mitchell regularly appears on BBC News, Sky News and Al Jazeera.

Our knowledge and expertise helps inform not just our research, but UWE Bristol’s educational programmes at all levels. We’re keeping pace with global financial developments to keep our research at the cutting edge.

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