MRS’s annual Financial Services Research Conference brings together 100+ research and insight specialists from financial services (FS) providers, regulators and agencies.

They’ll discuss new behavioural and attitudinal insights from FS consumers and share findings from fascinating insight projects that are helping the industry to seize new opportunities and navigate challenges better. In just one day we’ll showcase 12 client led case studies, based on a diverse range of research methodologies. 

  • Hear how insight is helping to build consumer trust in AI, new technology platforms and data sharing for digital financial services
  • Examine how insight is fuelling the development of new metrics for measuring new style customer journeys and customer experiences
  • Evaluate how consumers’ digital lives are impacting their attitudes to cash & payments and mobile saving & investment apps
  • Examine how leading FS brands are strengthening trust, loyalty and customer engagement in branch and on-line
  • Discover how to implement digital analytics solutions for broader, deeper and faster insight generation for traditional research questions
  • Hear new behavioural insights to improve targeting and engagement of women, young adults and SMEs

Hear from:

Lloyds Banking Group, Danske Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, Metlife, SBERBANK Russia, CaixaBank, FT, Standard Life, Barclays, The Coventry Building Society, Aviva Savings and Retirement, Legal & General


Radisson Blu Edwardian
9-13 Bloomsbury Street,London,WC1B 3QD

No Biography Available

09.00 Registration & coffee

09.30 Opening comments from the Chair

Richard Young, Journalist & Consultant

09.40 Finance + The Machine: who will win the trust battle?

Would you let a machine manage your retirement savings? What about setting up a direct debit mortgage payment? Technology is reshaping the financial sector delivering services faster, smarter and cheaper than ever. However, in a sector where consumer trust is hard won and closely linked to human contact, how can brands convince customers that AI is the future?

New research combining traditional qualitative with digital analytics considers the tussle between functionality and emotion in this space and explores consumers’ feelings about AI services.  This session will look across a spectrum of services from chat bots to robo-advice & beyond.

Patrick Collins, Associate Director, Strive Insight

Preriit Souda, Director, PSA Consultants


10.05 PANEL: Open sesame: unlocking the open banking opportunity

Join PwC, Lloyds Banking Group, Network Research & Danske Bank for an exploration of Open Banking and the key barriers and motivations to consumer take-up. Hear:

  • PwC evaluating the challenges associated with data sharing and suggest industry strategies to overcome them
  • Lloyds Banking Group sharing how it is using an armoury of qual and quant research methods to develop a deep and comprehensive understanding of its customers’ knowledge, concerns and behaviours towards their data and privacy and how it is turning this human centred thinking on privacy into commercial strategy
  • Network Research & Danske Bank focus on consumer reaction to download and use apps

Kathryn Bottomley, Insight Consultant, PwC Research

Laurent Christoph, Experience Strategist, Lloyds Banking Group

Richard Gaze, Client Director, Network Research

Alison Kane, Research and Analysis Manager, Danske Bank

Jonathan Turner, Partner, PwC Financial Services


11.05 Morning refreshments


11.25 Chatbots & customer experience: How best to measure Chatbot performance

Customer expectations of banks are ever-increasing, driven by experiences encountered in other sectors. Banks now have to compete with the likes of Amazon and Google along with FinTechs / digital banks, in terms of customer experience. In addition we see the emergence in the financial services sector of chatbots powered by Artificial Intelligence and machine learning.  This session will examine the research that helped NatWest determine robust and relevant metrics to measure its chatbots’ performance to ensure it delivered an excellent customer experience.

  • Conducting qualitative research to understand consumer expectations for chatbots and identify potential metrics
  • Examining how the research findings challenged current thinking on essential chatbot qualities
  • Considering how consumers’ expectations of chatbots will evolve as both chatbots and users’ experience of them develops. 

Julian Adams, Director, Illuminas

Ian Goulding, Insight Lead, Royal Bank of Scotland


11.50 Implementing technology-driven solutions to generate deeper consumer insights

SBERBANK Russia is facing traditional U&A questions in a fast changing environment.  Recently the bank has decided to turn to technology driven solutions to solve the question: how SBERBANK can support non-cash flow growth.

  • Discussing how implementing a mixed methodology of social media analytics, online survey & mobile ethnography delivered deeper consumer insights faster and cheaper and provided additional value to traditional research methods
  • Evaluating the value each research stage gave to SBERBANK understanding of its new consumers

Julia Nikolaeva, Head of Brand & Communication Practice Area, Kantar TNS Russia

Alexander Katsuro , Head of B2B Research, SBERBANK Russia


12.15 Liquid Gold: how technology is changing the way we understand money

New technologies are changing not only the way we use money, but our attitudes towards it and our relationship with it.

In the US, Venmo is as much a social platform as a payments app. Young people in China can go weeks without so much as touching hard currency. In the UK, open banking standards are likely to transform the way we manage money. From the other end of the spectrum, wealthy teenage influencers on social media and platforms like Patreon are blurring the lines between social influence and monetary payment. This research explores how adoption of new technologies is changing our very understanding of money and the important lessons financial services brands can learn from this new world of payments.

Carolyn O’Meara, Senior Researcher, Opinium

Josh Glendinning, Research Manager, Opinium


12.40 Driving reputation & brand equity in the banking industry

Banking is one of the least trusted industries. How can we change this trend to face the challenges ahead? How has this loss of trust affected businesses? How can we integrate reputation insights to make better strategic decisions? This session will examine how CaixaBank, together with other financial services companies as BBVA, Bankinter, Santander, ING, Ibercaja and Abanca, and with the help of Corporate Excellence - Centre for Reputation Leadership, has developed a robust model to measure reputation taking into account both tangible and intangible assets.

  • Outlining new research insights and business models to measure reputation
  • Using intangible assets insights to be more intelligent as businesses
  • Sharing a global perspective of how the banking industry is changing the way we understand data analysis and metrics
  • An overview of the main drivers to build an effective reputation model


Ángel Alloza, CEO, Corporate Excellence - Center for Reputation Leadership

Íñigo Roy, Head of Communication, Brand and Reputation Metrics, CaixaBank

13.05 Lunch


14.05 DUAL PERSPECTIVE - Building brand trust

Hear how neuroscience and online communities are being used by two FS providers as part of their brand building toolkits to  improve trust and strengthen engagement.


Making a strong performing campaign even better: taking neuroscience back to the Stone Age

How can banks build brand trust, engagement and loyalty through their branch window communications and with the help of neuroscience? This session is based on work with Barclays that identified what drives – and what hinders – the performance of this important customer contact point.

  • Examining how brand engagement is driven by customers‘ emotional, rational and intuitive behaviours – some which have stayed with us since the stone age
  • Exploring the methodology used including biometrics, eye tracking, observation and in-depth interviews
  • Using research findings to develop concrete action steps for creating successful branch communication and guidelines for increasing brand trust, engagement and loyalty

Eszter Boczan, Behavioural Lab Lead, GfK

Carol Ashby, Customer Insights, Propositions, Analytics and Customer Engagement, Barclays


Building brand trust and engagement through customer experience

The Coventry Building Society holds the highest customer satisfaction rate of any UK bank or building society. These results are driven by the activities of its Customer Experience team. Key to the work of the Customer Experience team is an online member panel. Hear how this financial services panel has grown into a dynamic two-way flow of information, vital to driving brand trust, engagement and loyalty in an increasingly competitive market.

  • Driving brand engagement by actively gathering insight from its online panel members and distributing it across the organisation to create a culture of customer centricity
  • Outlining the key ingredients to creating a highly engaged, responsive financial services research panel including; a powerful blend of qualitative and quantitative research tools, a flexible agency relationship and a hands-on approach to panel management

Paul Hudson, CEO, FlexMR

Emma Baxter, Head of Market Research, The Coventry Building Society


14.40 Q&A and Discussion


14.55 Stuck In 70s! Why our understanding of the SME sector needs a reboot

This session challenges the myths, received wisdoms and outdated thinking about the SME sector that have grown up over 40 years. Examine how the changing nature of work will redefine what we mean by SME; explore how the differences within the SME sector are greater than those between the SME and corporate sectors; and challenge some of the thinking about how best to build the core skills SMEs need to compete on a level playing field with ‘the big boys’. Hear new behavioural insights and discuss the constructive implications of the changing SME landscape for the financial services sector.

Adam Riley, Founder, Decision Architects

David Smith, Founder, DVLSmith

Stuart Baker, Head of Customer Insight & Research- Europe, Middle East & Africa, Metlife


15.20 Positively influencing female pension behaviour

Women typically enter retirement with a fraction of the pensions wealth carried by men and societal factors, such as lower earnings, and psychological factors, such as lower confidence, contribute to this outcome. This ground-breaking study with Aviva tested out whether it is possible to address the gender-pensions gap using psychology-driven communications. The study discovered that:

  • By speaking to women’s motivations, it is possible to shift them from being reluctant to active savers
  • Some age groups were particularly receptive to certain kinds of messages

Nicola Stenberg, Partner, the Big Window

Alistair McQueen, Head of Aviva Savings and Retirement


15.45 Afternoon refreshments


16.05 Building young adults’ confidence with money management

The Money Advice Service and Financial Times (FT) asked BritainThinks to explore whether young adults feel financially confident and well-equipped as they make the transition from education to employment. Based on the research, four principles were developed for communicating with young adults about money management to build confidence: make tips feel achievable; include a call to action; empower rather than reprimand; and shorter is not always better. Hear key findings and how this new knowledge is being shared and used.

Charlotte Malton, Senior Research Executive, BritainThinks

Claer Barrett, Personal Finance Editor, FT


16.30 Staying connected to audiences through seismic change

At a time of unprecedented pension changes with the most radical changes to private pensions and workplace pensions, Standard Life were keen to ensure a continued connection with its customers. This paper will consider the audience view of these seismic pension changes.  It will draw on findings from a programme of research that takes a 360? perspective incorporating customer, advisor and employer views. 

Debbie Newbould, Managing Director ONE MS

Sue Hayward, Head of Insight, Standard Life


16.55 Barking up the right tree: how behavioural insights have enabled L&G to drive market share growth within pet insurance

L&G has < 5% overall market share in Pet Insurance, as part of their wider programme of customer understanding & to achieve continued growth, L&G required a deeper understanding of pet owners to identify who to target and how.  This session will examine how a behavioural lens was core to the research and brought pet owners’ and their needs, motivations and emotions around pet insurance to life.

  • Mapping the pet insurance purchase journey in more granularity and uncovering opportunities to influence buyer behaviour and disrupt habitual behaviour
  • Identifying distinct pet owner typologies to target 
  • Examining how insights have informed L&Gs’ communication strategy

Robin Horsfield, Joint MD, Trinity McQueen

Jo Caley, Research & Insights Manager, Legal & General


17.20 Closing remarks from the Chair


17.25 End of conference

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