Our research

A close up of the door to a bank

The Credit Management Research Centre (CMRC) works closely with the credit industry and provides research that informs policy. Members of the Centre work with major lenders and organisations associated with the credit information infrastructure, including those in the ‘distressed debt’ market, debt buyers and collections, and recovery operations.

Financial Technology (FinTech)

CMRC has a research programme on Financial Technology (FinTech) and tracks the key players, developments and innovations in the sector. CMRC has focussed on developing new methodologies for credit risk modelling in both the consumer and corporate lending environments, including:

  • the exploration of new data sources such as digital footprints and social media
  • the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in processing and modelling data


Since inception, we have built up comprehensive databases on the UK corporate and SME sector along with detailed case histories of the changing practices governing debt management, collection and recovery.

CMRC has been involved in recent initiatives around the integration of ‘big data’ into our databases and modelling. The CMRC Company data panel includes financial, sector, technology, governance, insolvency and other ‘event’ data on the population of limited companies from the mid-1990’s to present. The database has over 45m company-year observations to date. Data on equity finance deals (venture capital and private equity) provides comprehensive insight into high technology and knowledge-intensive firms in the UK and regions, and trends in investment. The research has informed policy interventions in the UK and EU. The work on equity finance formed a Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 Impact Case.

Access to finance by SME’s and productivity growth are being investigated in the ESRC project coordinated across the Universities of Leeds, Edinburgh, St Andrews, Bath, Warwick, Susses and Oxford Brookes.

Throughout the Covid-19 crisis and post-pandemic

CMRC has been involved in modelling the risks and benefits of policy interventions during and after the pandemic period. Modelling default risk on the government-guaranteed lending to businesses (Business Interruption Loan Schemes) and business finance policy forecasting has provided BEIS with analysis and recommendations.

Our research on corporate lending and business-to-business trade and its financing has gained international recognition as well as informing policy-making within the UK.
The efficient functioning of credit and debt markets is vital for global economic growth. The financial crisis, pandemic and recession have focused much attention on the quality of lending decisions, portfolio management and the role of the regulators. Governments have a considerable debt management function, not least the collection and recovery of tax revenues. CMRC, through the National Audit Office has played an important role in informing the government on best practices in debt management. 

Main research areas

Consumer credit

  • Credit and debt in the economy
  • Bankruptcy modelling and forecasting
  • Financial institutions, large volume lenders and credit and debt management
  • The role and development of the credit services industry (credit information, distressed debt management)
  • The regulation of credit markets

Commercial credit

  • Commercial risk and insolvency modelling
  • Basel II Advanced Internal Ratings Based models
  • Commercial lending and FinTech
  • SME financing and finance gaps
  • Private equity and venture capital provision and the impacts
  • Governance, director characteristics, board diversity and company performance
  • Business-to-business trade (domestic and export)
  • Credit services (credit information, credit insurance, factoring, debt collection)
  • Dynamic Panel and other advanced econometric methods applied to corporate panel data   

Credit scoring, risk and propensity modelling

  • Credit scoring and modelling: Application and behavioural scoring (methods and applications)
  • Survival, hazard and competing risk models
  • Discrete time and continuous time hazard models
  • Debt pricing
  • Customer propensity models
  • The use of machine-learning and AI in risk modelling


CMRC's strategy is to develop a distinctive international profile through links with the industrial and commercial sector and governments, coupled with a strong academic publication record. 

Our objective is to involve leading academic scholars to come together in a series of research collaborations as well as specialised symposia and larger conferences to explore the many complex dimensions of:

  • Credit granting
  • Management and the functioning of credit markets
  • Corporate performance
  • Regulation
  • Policy intervention

Find out more

Explore CMRC publications here.

If you are interested in working with CMRC, contact Professor Nick Wilson.