Financial Services

Better decisions in a complex world

Financials services are a complex landscape to navigate, amongst economic developments and changing policy, technological advancements and evolving regulation. Building on our deep commercial, regulatory and policy expertise of the sector, we support clients in navigating this complexity and making better decisions.

Looking from all perspectives

We draw on competition economics, regulatory expertise, behavioural science and analytical capabilities to advise leading financial services providers – including retail and investment banks, insurers, payment and infrastructure providers and regulators – on regulation, policy, competition and commercial decisions.

Regulation and policy

Regulation affects every aspect of how financial services firms operate, and there are many bodies to consider, often simultaneously. In the UK, this includes the Financial Conduct Authority, the Payment Services Regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority, the Bank of England, the Pensions Regulator, the Prudential Regulation Authority and the European Commission.

We guide clients through this dense forest, with a deep understanding of how markets work and how regulators approach them.

Our work includes strategic advice on regulatory engagement and regulatory brand, support in responding to market studies and thematic reviews and assessing the impact of regulation on business models.

We also support clients in conversations with government, guiding them through how policy changes may affect their business and what to do as a result. We are at the heart of the evolving policy landscape at both national and EU levels, including:

  • Digitisation of services and robo-advice
  • Long-term savings adequacy
  • Personal current accounts and overdraft pricing
  • Potential impact of international and macroeconomic policy changes
  • Lessons of behavioural economics for policy
  • Implementation of financial regulation like Open Banking or Consumer Duty

We also work directly with government departments and regulators.

Competition policy and process

We provide strategic advice, problem-solving and technical support to both businesses and legal counsel. Our technical skills and experience allow us to pre-empt and tackle challenges in new, creative ways. We also recognise how challenging managing a large competition case can be for our clients both internally and externally. We speak the same language as our clients’ commercial colleagues and understand the importance of building strong relationships with the people whose day jobs are being disrupted by the regulatory process.

We have advised on all of the major financial services competition investigations at both UK and European levels. This puts us in pole position to help our clients define and support their case throughout any competition issues such as:

  • Market investigations and sector inquiries
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Assessment of agreements and abuse of dominance
  • Horizontal and vertical agreements
  • Competition appeals
  • Damages litigation

See more of our competition work here.

Conduct risk management

Financial services firms want to get things right for customers. But they also need to explain how they are doing so and, sometimes, why customer outcomes are not as good as they should be.

We help firms to comply with outcomes-based conduct regulation, including the Consumer Duty, using economics, behavioural psychology and data science to assess consumer outcomes and provide robust explanations and rationale for supervisory engagement. We are at the forefront of thinking on what outcome-based regulation looks like in practice.

Commercial strategy

We advise the UK’s leading financial providers on commercial strategy. Our economics toolkit is a powerful way to hone in fast on the behaviour of customers and competitors, leading to better commercial decisions. It helps us understand the dynamics of the market you compete in, and gets to the truth about your position within this market.

Our work covers all major product areas, channels and corporate functions, and includes:

  • Pricing design and embedding behavioural economics within the organisation
  • Proposition strategy in light of regulatory changes, like Open Banking or Consumer duty
  • Business model changes in light of technological advancements
  • New customer propositions in the context of changing market dynamics