It's an exciting time to be working at the crossroads of finance and technology, helping businesses improve their customer journeys and making the most of new sources of data, writes Jonathan Crook.

Credit Scoring and Credit Control XVI, Europe's premier conference for credit scoring and related topics, will see 400 delegates from over 40 countries converge on Edinburgh between 27 and 30 August.

The lending market is changing more quickly than ever before with rapid entry by lenders without branches, fintech startups with new services, open banking facilitating account moves, as well as increasing regulations.

Every two years for the past 30 years, this conference has helped connect academics and practitioners. It is the agenda-setting forum for research and new methodologies for credit scoring and control, with talks covering a huge range of modelling issues such as machine learning, the use of new forms of alternative data, fraud prediction, interpretability of AI models, IFRS9, stress testing, and SME risk modelling. Hear risk modellers open the bonnet on their new developments and academics describing futuristic research that may set the agenda for the next decade.

Our previous event in 2017 captured the mood of the time, with warnings that the growth in UK consumer debt had become a serious problem. Unsecured consumer credit had risen to £200bn for the first time since 2008. We heard fresh concerns about whether past models would be good into the future, and naturally, concerns over Brexit. Two years on these worries still loom large!

I'm looking forward to hearing from our keynote speakers: Javier Frassetto, Chief Risk and Analytics Officer of LenddoEFL, leader in use of non-traditional data and identity verification; Diederick Potgieter, Risk Specialist at the Bank of England; and Paul Russell, Director of Analytics at Experian Consumer Services UK & Ireland.

The discussions that take place in Edinburgh this August will have a ripple effect across industry and academia for months and years to come.

Jonathan Crook is Director of the Credit Research Centre and Professor of Business Economics at the University of Edinburgh Business School.