Behavioural Economists/Scientists

Banking Standards Board
March 1, 2018
London, United Kingdom
Job Type


We are looking for people to work on exciting projects, in a new Insights Units we are creating in the BSB, using behavioural science to transform our understanding of the way environments can be designed within banking to lead to improved customer and societal outcomes.

The Banking Standards Board (BSB)

The BSB was established in 2015 to help raise standards of competence and behaviour across all banks and building societies doing business in the UK.

Chaired by Dame Colette Bowe, the BSB is an independent, impartial and challenging champion of better banking standards. It is not a regulator or a lobby group; but is working with banks and building societies, their customers and staff and a range of other stakeholders to improve standards.  The BSB is focused on understanding and assessing the culture of banks and building societies, identifying shortcomings, recognising progress and developing good practice to improve the trustworthiness of banking in the UK.

We are a small organisation, circa 30 people, working on challenging issues of real importance, and this is an opportunity to develop your skills and contribute to an important initiative as part of a friendly, mutually supportive, fast-moving team.

The Insights Unit

We are creating a new unit within the BSB, called BSB Insights. This area, which will include behavioural scientists and quantitative analysts, will focus on:

  • identifying cultural or behavioural factors that enable, promote or inhibit high standards in banking, working with the large, unique and growing dataset relating to culture in UK banking that the BSB collects;
  • testing the effectiveness of interventions. We intend to work with banks and building societies to explore testing the effectiveness of interventions aimed at improving outcomes of interest e.g. speaking up, ethical behaviour and well-being
  • helping design improved environments at banks, through applying evidence from the fields of behavioural ethics, neuroscience and psychology, and through generating new evidence e.g. through lab and/or real-world tests

Through working with leading academics and in collaboration with our member banks who form much of the UK banking landscape, we intend to do cutting-edge and rigorous work to create real world applications that improve outcomes in banking.


The Roles

We intend to build a team which includes behavioural scientists/ economists at various stages in their careers. We are looking to fill more than one role at different levels of seniority, subject to the experience of successful candidates. The responsibilities described below apply across roles. Subject to the experience of the successful candidates, line management responsibility may also be part of one of the roles.

Taking a key role in building out the new BSB Insights Unit

  • Work with the Head of the unit to think through and scope out possibilities for the work programme the unit could undertake
  • Engage with member firms and with academics during this scoping phase to work out the practicalities of what can be done and how – this involves both an understanding (listening) role and an advising/ influencing aspect
  • Build out a work programme for the short (1 year) and medium term (2-3 years)

Taking ownership of one or more of the main work streams the Insights Unit runs

  • Lead the thinking, analysis and project management of workstreams (which may for e.g. require designing and running tests of interventions)
  • Lead engagement with academics and member firms in this work
  • Ensure that the work meets high standards of rigour, while being conscious of doing things within the constraints of a practical environment

Helping develop methods of communicating outputs for greatest impact

  • Generate outputs from the insights work and ways and means to communicate these (publishing, presenting etc.) in ways that makes our work useful for member firms to gain insights from and establishes the academic rigour of our analysis

Taking a lead role in the analysis of our culture related dataset for our Annual Review and beyond (Responsibility for one but not all candidates)

  • Work with quantitative analysts in the team to explore the BSB’s dataset related to culture in UK banking, employing regressions and other methods
  • Co-own this with quantitative analysts for the BSB’s Annual Review (our annual State of the UK Banking sector publication)


The skills and competencies we are looking for


  • strong knowledge of behavioural science, and how it can be applied to solving problems;
  • an excellent understanding, and ideally good experience, of running randomised controlled trials, and/ or other tests of interventions (e.g. lab based experiments);
  • strong quantitative skills, including the ability and experience of conducting regressions of various types;
  • a Bachelors degree in a relevant subject such as economics with behavioural modules, experimental psychology, or a social sciences degree with relevant modules and a strong quantitative element;
  • excellent communication skills, with an ability to present arguments clearly for non-expert audiences; and
  • excellent project management and relationship building skills with the ability to engage internal colleagues and external stakeholders across challenging projects.


  • excellent decision-making skills, with the demonstrated (or potential) ability to take ownership of complex projects;
  • the proven (or potential) ability to communicate with senior audiences, clearly and confidently in a manner that is likely to enhance the BSB’s credibility; and
  • a Masters degree in a relevant subject.

Personal attributes

  • discretion and an ability to handle confidential information appropriately;
  • natural curiosity, personal drive and a strong interest in solving problems;
  • an ability to work flexibly on your own or collaboratively with colleagues in a fast-paced environment;
  • identification with the BSB values: objective, innovative, collaborative, challenging;


Additional Information


These roles will be based in the BSB’s offices in central London. The roles are full-time however we are happy to consider flexible working arrangements consistent with this. The BSB offers a competitive salary and benefits that are benchmarked against industry standards, and will vary depending on the skills and experience of candidates.


We intend to notify applicants if they have been shortlisted in early April, and to conduct interviews soon after.

If you are interested in applying for the role of Behavioural Economist/ Scientist then please send your CV and covering letter, by 23 March 2018 by email to clearly specifying the title of the role you are applying for, and quoting the reference number BES/0218.

The BSB is committed to diversity and equal employment opportunity.


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