The CSFI was founded in 1993 as a not-for-profit think tank based in the City of London, the heart of the international finance industry. Its sponsors include many of the top institutional names in finance, as well as official organisations and professional firms. Its purpose is to provide an independent forum where financial practitioners and close observers of the business can share ideas and explore the road ahead, free from competitive constraints. Through its neutrality, the Centre is able to foster debate free from political prejudice, making it rare if not unique.
The CSFI holds frequent meetings on issues of current interest and commissions regular research reports on financial themes. Through its extensive institutional and personal membership, it also provides avenues for networking and communication.
Our current work programme is built around many topics, including:
- The post-financial crisis debate: how will the regulatory landscape be reformed?
- Europe: prospects for the financial single market and the eurozone;
- Technology: the impact of the internet and other new developments on financial markets, payment systems and bank strategies;
- Governance: strengthening the financial sector;
- Financial inclusion: getting financial services out to those who need them;
- Risk management: identifying and managing emerging risks.
Much of the CSFI's work is built on round-tables where topical issues are analysed and discussed by practitioners. These frequently evolve into working groups to monitor developments in selected areas, such as regulatory reform or technology. The CSFI periodically publishes papers and books designed to provoke further discussion. It also organises set-piece conferences on the big issues of the day.
The CSFI is an officially registered educational charity run by a Governing Council composed of senior financial figures. Its work programme is shaped by an Advisory Council which consists of representatives of its sponsors, along with practitioners and financial experts. The Centre’s day-to-day affairs are managed by a director and administrative staff based in London, with an offshoot in New York.