IT Summer Project by Ryan Holloway


Technical Specialist, Behavioural Economics team - MIDA

Background There are few jobs where you can make a real difference to the 2 million people who work in the UK Financial Services industry, the 40 million consumers of financial products and the stability of our economy as a whole. The FCA has three objectives. It is responsible for ensuring that markets operate with integrity; promoting effective competition; and protecting consumers of financial services. The Behavioural Economics and Data Science Unit (BDU) is a newly formed unit in the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). It is based in the Strategy and Competition division which is responsible for focusing on developing the FCA's approach to competition and the consumer, being aware of potential problems before they emerge, and leading smart policy interventions. BDU supports the policy, competition, supervisory and enforcement functions by designing and executing original research and creating tools to be used by frontline staff. It is responsible for the FCA's pioneering behavioural work. The unit uses the latest ideas and techniques from psychology, economics and increasingly computer science and works extensively with academic contacts in these disciplines. Through its vice-chairmanship of the G20-OECD Taskforce on Financial Consumer Protection and through bilateral contacts it works with researchers and behavioural insights practitioners in other financial regulators across the world. The unit is roughly split into two teams, although we encourage a cross-disciplinary approach and believe that they are complementary disciplines. The behavioural economics team focuses on four key areas: - Designing analysis to understand consumer behaviour using available data and running randomised controlled trials (RCTs), either internally or partnering with regulated firms; - Providing strategic support to the rest of the organisation to develop the FCAs capacity to understand and apply behavioural and data science techniques; - Develop practical tools and guides that can help all areas of the FCA; - Influence other regulatory bodies, especially within the EU to make better use of these rigorous empirical techniques. The data science team focuses on using tools from data science to change and improve how the FCA operates, e.g. its allocation of supervisory resource. The team will also use these tools to understand consumers and firms in the different markets that the organisation regulates. What does this job involve? As the technical specialist for this team, you will: - Use knowledge of the latest behavioural economics or psychology literature to lead and deliver substantial pieces of behavioural science research that contributes to the FCAs objectives - Provide advice, challenge, and mentoring to colleagues within the team on a range of behavioural science issues, including existing literature and theory, experimental and analytical methods, and the application of this knowledge to financial services - Develop outputs, practical guides and training on aspects of behavioural economics for our target audiences within the organisation - Represent the organisation and its work in behavioural economics credibly to external stakeholders such as the OECD, World Bank, European Commission and with bilateral meetings with other regulators. - Contribute to relevant Market Studies and Policy developments by supporting their efforts to use rigorous experimental techniques Minimum, Essential & Desirable skills Minimum - Post-Graduate degree in psychology, behavioural economics or economics - Excellent knowledge of the theoretical and empirical behavioural economics or psychology literature (the role could be filled by someone from either discipline) Essential - Significant experience in behavioural science theory and delivering experimental research, demonstrated through educational or employment experience. Specifically this includes: - Understanding of the main experimental techniques; - organisational skills to deliver research, i.e. prioritisation and resource management; - analytical skills and experience of interpreting results from experimental research; and - good drafting skills to communicate findings to non-specialists - Experience with randomised controlled trials or laboratory trials. Experience with panel data econometrics and sufficient knowledge of trial techniques to demonstrate ability to conduct trials could substitute - Experience of applying behavioural economics or psychology to consumer decision-making, ideally financial decision-making - Ability to work well within a multi-disciplinary team and to support others in the team who may have different academic backgrounds - Ability to present and influence internal and external stakeholders through clear communications on technical issues. - Ability to maintain an active network of external experts, from academia and beyond, and internal clients. Desirable - Experience of working on financial services markets and/or an understanding of financial services regulation - Experience or understanding of how a public sector organisation creates policy and approaches competition studies What will I get from the role. - You will have the opportunity to influence significantly how the FCA approaches behavioural economics, and given the FCA's leadership in the area, how regulators in both Britain and abroad are approaching integrating insights from the social and behavioural sciences into how they regulate. This will help the organisation be more effective in what it does, to the benefit of consumers in the UK.

Job Summary

Job Type-Permanent. Location-Canary Wharf, London. Salary-£60,000- £100,000 + Benefits. Start Date-ASAP. Reference-308059-822308.