Developments in Sustainable Finance and Responsible Investments

Day one of the Sustainable Financial Innovation Centre Annual Conference

Keynote Speaker

Professor Carol Alexander

Professor of Finance, University of Sussex Business SchoolVisiting Professor, Peking University HSBC Business SchoolCo-Editor, Journal Banking and Finance

Conference Chairs and Guest Editors

  • Douglas Cumming: College of Business, Florida Atlantic University and Birmingham Business School, University of Birmingham
  • Hisham Farag: Birmingham Business School, University of Birmingham Business School
  • Sofia Johan: College of Business, Florida Atlantic University 


In the wake of the high level of political, regulatory and economic uncertainty alongwith recent challenges and developments in climate change, clean technology and greenfinance, new contributions in Financial Technology (FinTech) will significantly changethe landscape of sources of finance for businesses.

Digital technologies have begun to disrupt, banking and insurance markets and will continue to shape the financial sectorover the coming years. The FinTech revolution was sparked by the introduction ofcrowdfunding and alternative sources of finance. Over the past decade, onlinemarketplaces have become an important source of credit for businesses. Following several years of rapid growth, marketplace lenders today originate 25% of all businessloans in the United States (US) and are an important source of finance for newentrepreneurs.

A key advantage of marketplaces over traditional financial intermediaries for entrepreneurs is they provide faster and cheaper access to credit,which enables start-up and business growth. However, despite accounting for approximately 30% of outstanding unsecured credit, little attention has been paid towhether online marketplaces systematically affect entrepreneurship and the overallimpact on financial institutions and world economies.

This issue is important forassessing the implications of the FinTech lending expansion and the ramifications ofmarketplaces displacing traditional financial intermediaries. This research theme embodies the effects of different types of crowdfunding (equity-based and rewardbased),and issues related to how the nascent FinTech sector influences the bankingindustry, financial institutions and regulatory bodies. Understanding how the rapidlyexpanding FinTech industry affects these sectors, and consumer welfare, are toppriorities for the design of regulation. The objective of this special issue conference isto promote both theoretical and empirical research on the challenges and opportunities,developments and dynamics of FinTach and its impact on financial institutions.

Suggested Topics

 Possible topics/research questions include, but are not limited to: 

  • What are the characteristics and the new developments in FinTech?
  • What is the influence of FinTech on different types of financial institutions (banks, VCs, insurance, stock markets, etc)?
  • What are the main determinants for the developments in crowdfunding and other alternative innovative sources of finance?
  • What is the role of regulations and prudential supervisors to enhance corporate governance and promote FinTech?
  • How FinTech and the emerging new technologies would lead to substantial enhancements in entrepreneurship?
  • What is the expected impact of FinTech on corporate innovation, culture and sustainability?
  • What is the economic impact of FinTech on the development of Alternative Finance?
  • How FinTech would lead to substantial enhancements to access of funds for SMEs and Private equity funds?
  • How FinTech would substantially improves financial inclusivity worldwide?
  • What is the socio–economic impact of FinTech and what is the influence on the banking sector and stock markets liquidity and volatility? 

Conference Submission Details

  • We will host the conference via Zoom.
  • Interested authors should submit two versions of their paper, one including author information and one with no identifying information to: by December 20th, 2020. Early submissions are encouraged and will be reviewed earlier.
  • Papers will be reviewed anonymously and authors will be notified of the decision by Dec 31st, 2020. 


Publication opportunities

Selected papers will be considered for a special issue of Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money. In consultation with the Editor-in-Chief ofEmerging Markets Review, authors of other selected papers will be invited to submittheir manuscripts to a regular issue of EMR with fast track review.