Alistair is Professor of Financial Economics at the School of Business and Economics, Loughborough University, He previously worked at Cass Business School, the Bank of England; the University of Surrey, London Business School, HM Treasury and for the Government of Malawi.
Alistair has conducted policy focused economics research since the early 1980s, His PhD in economics at the Financial Markets Group of the London School of Economics highlighted on the macroeconomic consequences of financial constraints on corporate inventory investment. In his subsequent career his research has focused on bank risk and capital management, financial crises, disaster risk finance (including pandemic risks), development finance, financial infrastructure such as payment systems and securities clearing and settlement, and financial regulation. His work is characterised by close engagement with practitioners and policy makers, seeking to obtain economic insight into major policy and business questions informed by detailed understanding of the institutional arrangements and organisations engaged in financial intermediation and their historical development.
His current research is focused on the emerging financial technologies, including the economics of new payments technologies, the implications of widening access to central bank balance sheets, open banking, ‘peer to peer’ lending platforms and the application of AI, distributed ledgers and related data technologies in financial services. Here he stresses the complementary roles of government and the private sector. A key but too often neglected role of the public authorities in financial innovation is ensuring co-ordination of private sector effort, including agreement and adoption of technical standards and shared operational processes, overcoming private reluctance to collaborate on technical change because benefits are diffuse and innovation can undermine the market power of incumbents.
Alistair strongly supports the goals of the Transparency Task Force, arguing in particular that collaboration on developing and industry wide adoption of technical standards is a pre-requisite for overcoming information barriers and ensuring that senior management, customers and clients, advisers, investors and regulators are as well informed as they can be about financial transactions, including their costs, charging and consequences for risk exposure.