Grants / Projects we are funding

Understanding Investor Behaviour in the low interest rate, low return environment: The Financial Inclusion Centre

Grant details


Awarded on:01/03/2017


Area of interest

Systems change

The project aims to understand the extent to which the new paradigm of low financial returns/low interest rates is distorting financial behaviours. This research project will consider the analysis of financial resource allocation by financial institutions and households, and policy and academic papers on what drives financial behaviours.

What is the issue?

In the post financial crisis era, two market forces are pulling in opposite directions – a flight to safe, low yielding quality assets such as bonds and the ‘search for yield’ amongst asset owners and managers who are taking risks to generate high returns to compensate for low returns on safe assets. There are concerns that financial markets are being distorted and new market risks are being created which have not been fully taken on board by asset owners and managers in their search for yield. At the same time, it appears that long term, sustainable, socially-useful investment opportunities are being crowded out by two forces described above.

What will the project try to achieve?

The project aims: to gain a better understanding of investor behaviour in this new low rate/ low return environment; to identify market impacts, distortions, and risks caused by policy interventions and investor behaviours; to understand how current market conditions are affecting investor attitudes to sustainable, long term investments; and to provide insight into barriers that inhibit financial system change.

Who might be interested in this project?

The following are likely to be interested: policymakers, regulators, and academics who want to better understand investor behaviour in the current environment and the impact of behaviours on financial system risk and allocative efficiency of financial markets; civil society organisations who want to better understand the barriers to the development of more sustainable, economically productive and socially useful financial markets; and promoters of socially useful investment strategies and products.

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