“I often joke that our motto should be: 'We bite the hands that feed us'. But we don’t really: what we try to do is both reflect what the City is thinking, and help to steer the debate about where it is going.”
Andrew Hilton, Director, CSFI
The CSFI is an independent forum where financial services professionals and observers can share ideas about the challenges and opportunities facing the sector. The Centre functions as a critical friend to one of the most dynamic and important parts of the UK economy, recognising that what happens in the world of financial services affects everyone - for better or worse. This spirit of free and intelligent discussion, unshackled from competitive constraints or partisan agendas, has been at the heart of the CSFI's reputation since its founding in 1993.
The CSFI organises around 100 round-table and dinner events per year, involving hundreds of expert speakers and several thousand participants. We also commission original research reports written by leading figures in financial services - often as part of a dedicated Fellowship - and undertake regular surveys on banking, insurance and microfinance risks as part of our Banana Skins series. Our current work programme is based around several major overlapping themes:
The post-financial crisis debate - regulation, governance and ethics;
European Union - regulation, banking union, capital markets union and "Brexit";
Technology - cutting-edge fintech innovations and their implications for the economy;
Financial inclusion - empowerment and education.
Much of our work takes place offline and under the Chatham House Rule - but, through our website and social media channels, we communicate the key ideas and messages arising from our discussions to as wide an audience as possible.
The CSFI is funded by around 80 supporter institutions, representing a diverse cross-section of the financial services sector and its regulators. We count among our supporters many of the biggest global names in finance and professional services.
The CSFI is an officially registered educational charity run by a Governing Council composed of senior financial figures. The Centre's work programme is shaped by an Advisory Council, which consists of influential figures drawn from its network of annual supporters and other knowledgeable friends. The Centre’s day-to-day affairs are managed by a director and administrative staff based in the City of London.