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Delivering critical consumer insight during economic uncertainty

The global response to Covid-19 has created a financial crisis leaving no individual or business untouched. It has led to a seismic shift in consumers’ attitudes, behaviours and needs as well as a change in research approaches and requirements.

In response, this year’s event will take a deep delve into consumers’ financial attitudes and behaviours gathered before and during the pandemic. How much has changed? What will future financial customer want and expect from providers? How should financial providers adapt?

Explore the latest research that is generating new understanding of different segments, revealing potential growth opportunities for financial providers and informing better engagement and communications with financial customers.

Book your place to:

  • Explore the latest research on the impact of Covid 19 on financial customers’ attitudes and behaviours
  • Examine emerging trends in financial services being accelerated by the global pandemic
  • Develop a toolkit of insight strategies fit for the ‘new normal’
  • Generate deep understanding of customers’ financial wellbeing and propensity to vulnerability
  • Break down barriers to engaging key customer groups and identify new growth opportunities

Key contributions from: RBS, Nationwide, Barclays, Ageon, HSBC, The Big Exchange, Lansons, Money & Pensions Service, Lowell Financial and more to be announced…

No Biography Available

10.00 Chair’s welcome and opening remarks

Fiona Blades, President & CEO, MESH Experience



Leading a client-side insight team during Covid-19 (and beyond)

This year has presented unique challenges for society as a whole but it has also impacted on how we as insight professionals do our jobs. At NatWest/RBS the insight team has continued to deliver insight across the group during very challenging circumstances. In this session Ian will share these experiences to help other teams who are on the same journey.

  • Examining the immediate response to the Covid-19 outbreak; an outline of how NATWEST/RBS gathered critical feedback from customers and the public during the early days of lockdown
  • Determining the longer term plan for research in the “new normal”
  • Evaluating new tools and techniques being used since the outbreak of Covid-19
  • Creating a positive team environment in a virtual world

Ian Goulding, Customer Insight Lead, Marketing, NatWest



PANEL: Emerging trends in the financial services sector

Covid 19 has led financial services into new territory. Never before have personal and business finances been compromised so suddenly and to this extent. And never before have customer interactions been so challenging. Hear our panellists discuss emerging trends and consider provider strategies for building trust with customers in this new world.

  • Consumer attitudes and behaviours in the post-pandemic world
  • Assessing the impact of Covid-19 on digital, personalisation, product and communication preferences
  • Discussing how Covid-19 has affected investment behaviour
  • Building brand trust and adaptation strategies in the aftermath of Covid 19

Chaired by: Alex Wright, Financial Services Lead, Kantar
Michael Worledge, Financial Services Sector Head, Harris Interactive
Alexa Nightingale, Research Director & Partner, Opinium
Katherine Hobby, Director & Partner, Lansons



Understanding the member experience of Covid-19

As a member organisation, Nationwide has a responsibility to understand its members experiences. Never has there been a more significant post-war moment to do this than in light of the recent pandemic.

A number of members were asked to diarise their emotional and practical responses to life in lockdown and during the time when restrictions were gradually lifted. These testimonials provided valuable insight and empathy for Nationwide. They were also added to the Nationwide archive as a valuable historic record of this moment.

This session will examine how the insight supported short term planning and action as well as considering the role insight has to play in helping build and maintain a record of social change and moments of historical significance.

Anthony Price, Associate Director, Join the Dots | InSites Consulting
Livvy Gill, Researcher, Nationwide


11.20 Break



Through the keyhole: understanding the financial impacts of Covid-19

As households feel the effects of the biggest peacetime economic crisis in modern times, Blue Marble has conducted a longitudinal qualitative study following 25 UK households during the first six months.

Interviews and online tasks have generated insights into how consumers’ confidence changes over time and how this translates into their financial lives and household financial decision-making.

This paper will bring real stories and case studies that demonstrate the transient and permanent consumer needs arising from this crisis.

Tom Clarkson, Director, Blue Marble



Amy Cashman, CEO, Kantar 
in conversation with
Nikki Boore, Global Head of Customer Strategy and Insight, Global Marketing, HSBC
Mark Hirstle, Global Head of Insight, HSBC
In these unprecedented times, it is more important than ever to move from reacting to change to anticipating it.  In this session, Amy and Nikki will discuss how a recent ‘Future Thinking’ research framework has equipped the global CS&I team at HSBC with actionable and forward-thinking insights, allowing them to make informed decisions and future proof initiatives to sustain competitive advantage.  They will discuss how this research has helped the bank understand how the needs of their customers will evolve in the future and how they should respond, helping them to become leaders in not only insight, but foresight.



Tracking consumer interest in sustainable investing

Interest in sustainable saving is at an all-time high - accelerated by Covid-19. Boring Money’s previous research has found that 25% of investors, who do not currently hold sustainable or ethical investments, say they plan to invest into these as a result of Covid-19. However, despite this positive consumer interest there is still much work for the financial industry to do to engage, guide and support customers in making these investment decisions.

The new Sustainable Savers Census explores, quantitatively and qualitatively, consumer expectations for sustainable investing. It will consider issues around performance, the trade-offs people are willing to make and opportunities for their workplace pensions, as well as the impact of fund names and marketing messages. Hear research highlights and industry actions resulting from this large-scale survey.

Georgina Clarke, Director of Research Projects and Business Development, Boring Money
Jill Jackson, Managing Director, The Big Exchange



Panel: Innovating to break down barriers to financial equality

Women and ethnic minority groups are currently underserved by financial services providers and the pandemic is likely to compound this further. But with the right approach the industry can help tear down barriers to financial equality. This session will explore how new insights are helping financial services providers better engage these groups, develop innovative propositions and view the gap in provision as a sizable growth opportunity.

  • Examining the latest research highlighting financial inequalities
  • Exploring some of the specific issues and challenges that disadvantage women and ethnic minority groups in business and financial matters
  • Discussing new ways of engaging and communicating with people who are currently underserved
  • Identifying innovative products and services solutions for underserved groups

Chair: Lord Simon Woolley, CBE
Flora Vieites, Director, Ipsos MORI
Lizzy Moroney, Head of Customer Strategy, Firefish
Juliet Gouldman, Head of Strategic and External Engagement, Barclays


13.05 Lunch



Colin Strong, Head of Behaviour Change, Ipsos Mori
in conversation with
Nick Watkins, Head of Insight & Evaluation, Money and Pensions Service (MaPs)

Even before COVID-19, which is having a devastating impact on personal finances, there was a compelling case for improving financial wellbeing; it is good for individuals, communities, business, and the economy.

MaPS commissioned Ipsos to explore ways in which behavioural science could have a role to play in improving financial wellbeing. The result of this work gives an account of the different theories that help us understand financial behaviour, and how they inter-relate.

Nick and Colin will reflect on the findings of the report and their applicability for a wider financial services audience.  They will discuss how selecting the right theoretical framework for the right problem, is a necessary practitioner activity to drive positive and practical outcomes. 



Business unusual for RBS: persuading customers to switch to a competitor bank

In 2008-2009 RBS received financial support from the UK government. As a result, the bank made a commitment to help increase competition in UK business banking and reduce its market share. The concept of the incentivised switching scheme was born.

In this session, RBS and Savanta will discuss the methodology behind the award-winning market research that had to turn traditional research, pricing and conjoint models on their heads to encourage customers to switch away. They will also cover the impact of Covid-19 and how the research programme adapted during the pandemic.

Robert Seffert, Associate Director, Savanta
Alex Higgins, Customer Insight Manager - Business Banking Switch, RBS



Panel: Supporting vulnerable customers

This discussion will challenge preconceptions of vulnerability and highlight important consideration for researchers when engaging vulnerable customers. It will showcase some recent examples of innovative research which has delivered tangible change and contributed to improved financial wellbeing for participants.

  • What does vulnerability look like today?
  • Approaches to building trust and engagement with vulnerable groups
  • Delivering actionable insights that empower vulnerable customers and promote financial well being

Chaired by:
Julie Taylor, Research Director, Gusto Research
Andy Eymond, Partner, Well Thought
Damon Gibbons, Director, Centre for Responsible Credit 
Abigail Olingschlaeger, Research Manager, Walnut Unlimited
Lisa Hulme-Vickerstaff, Head of Insights, Lowell Financial 


14.55 Break



Nathan Hester, Head of Client Value, Motif
In conversation with 
Lisa King, Senior Group Insight Manager, Royal London 
Santosh Makhani, Insight Director, Motif 
Decoding loyalty to engage and deliver positive customer outcomes 

Royal London has been reviewing its Customer strategy to build on its strength as a mutual. Key to this is an evolved customer voice programme aiming to deliver a richer understanding of the customer experience to drive improvements, foster mutually valued customer relationships and support growth. 

Hear Lisa and Santosh discuss how jointly the team embarked on a journey to design an approach that is helping Royal London tread new ground on a customer insight-led approach - one that encompasses both brand and the customer experience – in order to drive engagement, deliver to a renewed social-impact brand purpose, and improve operational efficiency. The session will highlight the challenges of bringing research, data and analytics closer together in a real-life business environment. 



Launching a behaviourally informed, long-term financial wellbeing index

With many expected to lose their jobs or taking significant pay cuts, Covid-19 has accelerated financial services’ firms’ debates on financial wellbeing. In this session, pensions, investment and life insurance provider Aegon will report its initial findings from its new behaviourally informed survey conducted with 10,000 members of the UK public in August 2020. Hear how the pandemic is affecting long term financial planning.

Tom Mathar, Insight Manager - Centre for Behavioural Research, Aegon UK


15.45 Closing comments from the Chair


15.50 End of event

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