Professor of Banking and Finance
Programme Director of MSc Banking, Regulation and Financial Stability
Tell us about your journey into academia…
I used to work in banking in Germany but was always more interested in understanding it from an academic perspective. On top of that, I experienced a bank failure myself when the bank I worked at failed. I wanted to get to the bottom of things and so I pursued a master’s degree and a PhD at the University of Southampton, before my appointment as Lecturer in Finance. Prior to being at Bristol, I was Professor of Finance at Lancaster University, Professor of Empirical Banking at Bangor University and Lecturer in Banking at Bayes Business School.
My research interests focus on the empirical modelling of bank behaviour. In particular, I primarily investigate the role of the government in banking systems in terms of regulation, supervision, and bank bailouts, and how such government interventions affect bank conduct.
Why should prospective postgraduates choose to study banking and finance at Bristol?
My programme (MSc Banking, Regulation and Financial Stability), is aimed particularly at recent graduates who wish to pursue a career in banking or financial regulation, or for those who wish to continue to a PhD.
The banking programme has a unique focus on regulation, supervision, compliance and risk management. It goes beyond traditional banking and finance courses by exploring the regulatory demands within banking and examining the role of central banks and international organisations.
We designed it that way because many bankers told us that there is a shortage of people who are interested in the regulatory aspects, there are not enough graduates who know about bank capital regulation, how to comply with changing rules and regulations, and make good choices to help banks perform well in such an environment. A lot of the recruitment in banking is focused on these areas and we wanted to offer a degree programme that fits exactly such needs. We also have a large number of academics who interact with these regulators that teach on the banking degree, and so it made perfect sense to capitalise on these unique features that Bristol offers and students will gain a lot from the anecdotes our staff can tell from their own experience interacting with bankers.
How do you share your industry experience with students?
I have strong links with central banks and international organisations. For example, I’m a frequent visitor to the International Monetary Fund, and have held several visiting appointments at the Deutsche Bundesbank. I was also a consultant in the ECB’s Financial Research Division, and for the World Bank. This research experience is something that I bring to my students and integrate it into their learning, meaning it has real-world relevance. My other colleagues who teach on this programme share this approach.
What is special about your programme?
One of the things that I think is special about our programme is a mentoring scheme that we have set up with several banks, including the Bank of England. Students can apply for this scheme which involves them being put in contact with experts at the banks. They provide further insight into the industry, and can offer help and advice around academic work, job applications and assessment centres etc.
What can prospective students get out of attending virtual events?
I’d recommend you attend a virtual event to find out a bit more about our programmes and what we offer. You can ask questions to help you decide if the course is right for you. I’d encourage you to make a note of some questions in advance of the event, or during the main presentation, then ask them using the chat function.
Despite not being able to experience our city and university facilities in-person, you can still ask just as many questions such as: what’s unique about our programmes? What are the likely career outcomes? What links do our academic staff have with industry? Please don’t be shy! We’d love to hear from you!