What is the challenge?
The Mistra Financial Systems research programme investigates how financial markets and operators can contribute to society’s sustainable development. The financial sector, i.e. banks, pension funds, insurance companies and other institutions, and also financial markets affect a range of critical sustainability issues, such as the environmental impact of the economy and financial stability, but also households’ access to appropriate and efficient financial services. How well are these functions performed at present? What could be done differently? What can be learnt from current experiments and innovation? All these issues are touched on in the research projects included in the programme.
How can the programme contribute to a solution?
Mistra Financial Systems comprises some 30 research and development projects, hosted at higher education institutions (HEIs) in and outside Sweden. The projects belong to a range of disciplines: finance, business administration, economics, natural sciences, political science and philosophy. The various subprojects are divided into five research areas:
- Green macro: what are the connections between financial markets and the environmental impact of the economy?
- Policy: what regulations and institutional systems can facilitate a transition to a more sustainable financial system?
- Market drivers: how can the financial sector help to establish green innovations and ecofriendly technology? What part can FinTech (new technology for financial services) play here?
- Governance: how sustainable is the current financial sector? What can improve the quality of households’ financial services, financial stability and financing of new businesses?
- Practical tools: development of practical tools for financial operators wishing to contribute to sustainable development.
The programme is being run from the Stockholm School of Economics (SSE), based at two leading research institutes there. Mistra Center for Sustainable Markets (Misum) coordinates the programme in close collaboration with Swedish House of Finance (SHOF).
Who will benefit from the results?
Altogether, some 60 researchers are participating in the initiative, at nine HEIs and institutes: SSE, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, the Stockholm Environment Institute, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the University of Gothenburg, Kingston University London, the International Capital Market Association (ICMA) at Henley Business School (UK) and Vienna University of Economics and Business (Austria).
The aim of the programme is to generate benefits by developing good ideas about how financial markets and operators can contribute to more sustainable development of society. The results will support both private and public decision-making while also providing a basis for reforms and regulation of the financial sector.
Target groups are the global research community and students of today and tomorrow; banks, institutional investors and venture capitalists, insurance companies and other financial operators; and public decision-makers and legislators.
The importance of research for a green recovery and sustainable transformation – Interviews with Mistra Programme Directors spring 2020.
Michael Halling, Programme Director Mistra Financial Systems.