Imperial College London

Financial services companies using academic expertise to innovate


The Data Science Institute's Observatory

Banks and other financial services companies are increasingly benefiting from the specialist expertise of academics at Imperial College London.

The researchers are helping them to advance thinking and innovate in areas as varied as cybersecurity, data analytics, fintech and climate finance.

Bank of America has become the newest member of the College’s corporate membership programme, Imperial Business Partners. It joins other financial services companies in the programme, including Barclays, HSBC, Mastercard and UBS, as well as companies in a variety of other sectors.

The programme offers the companies a supported and flexible way to connect with Imperial and navigate a variety of specialist advice from the College’s academic experts across science, technology and business disciplines. ­

Business partners

Financial services companies such as HSBC are working with the College to address specific challenges through consulting projects with Imperial Consultants, while others including Royal Bank of Canada and Citibank are engaging in collaborative research supported by the College’s Industry Partnerships and Commercialisation team.

Dr Daniel Giamouridis, global head of Scientific Implementation, Data and Innovation Group at Bank of America, said: “We are delighted to partner with Imperial to pursue thought leadership initiatives on science, technology, and business. We look forward to a collaborative relationship that enables us to connect with world class academic expertise and resources. A relationship that helps us stay current with scientific developments with impact to our business, benefits our employees and our clients, and collectively contributes to our responsible and sustainable growth strategy.”

Academic rigour and flexible engagement

Dr Simon Hepworth, Director of Enterprise at Imperial, said: “Financial services companies haven’t traditionally looked to universities for expert advice at the scale we are currently experiencing. We’re attracting interest from several different parts of the sector, who stand to benefit from the application of our academic credibility and rigour not only in finance but also areas such as computing and data science.

“Our offer is further strengthened by the flexible engagement modes we offer. We give companies a helping hand to navigate the research landscape, offering a chance where needed to dip in and out of research areas. This is especially appropriate for the financial sector, where there are numerous points of contact between the College’s research and the sector’s challenges.

“Once companies know which academics and research areas they wish to engage with, and may wish to engage more deeply, we collaborate closely with companies to deliver fruitful consultancy projects and bespoke research partnerships.”

Finance consultancy

HSBC recently published Lending to Low-Carbon Technologies, a report on financing for low-carbon solutions. Produced by Dr Charles Donovan and colleagues from Imperial College Business School’s Centre for Climate Finance and Investment, the report examines how finance can better support low-carbon solutions and help meet the UK government’s commitment to net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

HSBC is the latest of several banks to expand their work with the Centre. In the Imperial College Business School, financial services companies are also working with the Centre for Financial Technology to identify new methods for capturing and analysing data.

Data science research

Royal Bank of Canada is collaborating on research with Professor Yi-Ke Guo in the Department of Computing, Director of the Data Science Institute.

The bank will fund two PhD studentships to develop artificial intelligence technologies that can be used to automatically analyse financial news reports and understand the impact of financial events.

This will give the bank the opportunity to work with the Data Science Institute on research that helps meet its business needs while offering researchers an opportunity to make an impact by engaging with real-world challenges.

Enterprise ecosystem

Business in all sectors can find out more about the ways they can benefit from Imperial’s expertise, resources and talent by visiting the Enterprise Division’s web pages, where they can learn about opportunities to engage and join the mailing list.

Academics interested in working with industry can also find out about increasing the impact of their research, through routes including research partnerships, commercialisation and consultancy from the Enterprise Division's staff home page

Explore digital transformation on 6 February with Imperial Business Partners

Imperial Business Partners, the College's corporate membership programme, is holding a workshop and networking opportunity on digital transformation in finance and other sectors on 6 February 2020 in Central London. Learn more and register at the Eventbrite page. 


David Silverman

David Silverman

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Entrepreneurship, Global-challenges-Data, Big-data, Industry, Comms-strategy-Entrepreneurial-ecosystem, Strategy-collaboration, Artificial-intelligence, Enterprise
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