The Centre for Banking Research (CBR) at Bayes Business School and the Building Societies Association (BSA) are jointly organising the 2nd Research Workshop on the future of mutuals. The workshop will provide an opportunity for academics, policymakers, and practitioners to engage in high-level discussion on the prospects of the industry. We welcome submissions of high-quality papers on the broad theme of the future of mutuals. Some illustrative topics include:
- the sustainability of the business model of mutual financial institutions
- the digital transformation challenges
- changes in the competitive landscape
- the impact of low-for-long interest rates on mutuals’ profitability and risk profile
- the role of regulatory changes on the structure on the industry
- access to financial services and financial inclusion
Mutual financial institutions, including cooperative banks, building societies, credit unions and saving banks, hold a significant market share in many countries. Nonetheless, recent years have seen the sector undergo a process of consolidation to form larger institutions, better placed to survive in an increasingly competitive environment. Technological advances, the rise of FinTech, the emergence of digital-only banks and changes in customers’ preferences have posed new challenges for the sector. In addition, regulatory changes and low-for-long interest rates have impacted the sector’s profitability and risk profile.
In this highly dynamic environment, mutual financial institutions are also contending with the unprecedented negative economic shocks arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, and their role in smoothing lending and providing liquidity to households and small firms remains unclear. Against these challenges, mutual financial institutions have often maintained their market shares, remain strongly capitalised, and are keen to explore how their ownership structure can continue to differentiate them from other firms in the financial services sector.
Dame Colette Bowe, Bank of England
Dame Colette will speak about the link between household indebtedness and financial stability, and the Financial Policy Committee’s recent analysis in assessing the risks.
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