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Research themes

  • Microfinance: CFS is a leading centre for research, policy and innovation in microfinance in the industrialised world, including governance, financial sustainability and social impact. The Unit has set up a number of microcredit providers in the UK, has conducted research for government departments and has advised EU institutions on microfinance policy.
  • Fintech: Over the past few years, CFS has been building expertise in the emerging area of Financial technology (Fintech), focusing on the impact of Fintech on access to finance and the opportunities and risks for microcredit providers arising from Fintech. CFS has written about UK crowdfunding and P2P lending and conducted research on the impact of the expansion of these forms of finance on microfinance providers.
  • Financial inclusion: CFS has extensive expertise and experience in financial inclusion, including factors affecting financial exclusion and the effectiveness of interventions to promote financial inclusion. CFS researchers have conducted research on the extent and nature of financial exclusion across cities and communities across the UK, and have advised local government and housing associations on ways of promoting financial inclusion.
  • Community Land Trusts: The pioneering research by CFS and associates contributed to the establishment and growth of the CLT sector in England and Wales. CFS contributed to the development of a legal definition of UK CLTs, set up and piloted mechanisms for delivering technical assistance to CLTs, and developed a social impact tool for the sector held by the National CLT Network (the trade body for CLTs in England and Wales).