About PFRC

Welcome to the blog site for the Personal Finance Research Centre (PFRC) at the University of Bristol. Follow us here for news, views and updates on a wide range of personal finance-related topics from members of the team and other leading experts.


Established in 1998, we are an independent research centre based at Bristol’s School of Geographical Sciences, specialising in social research across all areas of personal finance, mainly from the consumer’s perspective. The six guiding themes for our work are:

  • Consumer vulnerability in the modern economy
  • Spatial inequalities
  • Making a difference and understanding what works
  • Money, agency and technology
  • Behaviour and wellbeing
  • Life stages and transitions

We apply wide-ranging methods in rigorous and innovative ways, often to address complex or challenging questions. We have expertise in: survey design; evaluation research; quantitative data analysis; qualitative research methods; literature and evidence reviews; methodological studies and index construction.

Our interdisciplinary team combines extensive empirical research skills with a detailed understanding of a range of social policy issues. Much of our work is undertaken to meet a demand from policymakers, the financial services industry and other stakeholders for high-quality, independent and policy-relevant research that both addresses and enhances our understanding of key personal finance issues. Our work is influential in shaping public policy, and we regularly provide technical and policy advice to government departments and others.

Through our research, consultancy and advisory work, we act as a bridge between the academic and research community, the financial services industry, policymakers and other stakeholders.