ABOUT US

This innovation action proposed as a project is made up of three parts. A first stage develops a descriptor and calculator of financial products, with open access for any person, thought as a mean to disseminate knowledge on EU Banking to a general audience of interested European citizens, from secondary school students to bank potential clients of advanced age, including University students with different interests on financial knowledge depending on their degrees. In the basic descriptor and calculator, every bank product is raised twofold: a straightforward explanation of the product; and computing with real or simulated data (annual equivalent rate, loan payments, inverse mortgage, leasing, invoice finance, credit account). Thus, our project equips secondary and university students with knowledge of European Union products and concepts in the banking system, relevant for their academic life but also to enhance their financial civic skills as those of any citizen currently or potentially involved in financial contracts. The second stage is a consultancy service on financial products, thought as an interactive tool to complement the previous stage by solving the specific doubts that an EU citizens might raise on financial products. As for the consultancy service, any person with access to internet can leave a consultation on a bank product in the page, either by writing the case or by sending a copy of the document (e.g a bank offer/proposal on a certain product at any level of complexity). The person will answer several questions to be scored by our test of suitability and convenience for us to attribute her/him a risk profile score. Identification data are not required to raise a consultation. Only an e-mail address is needed for us to send the answer back to the person who has posed the question. This part is conceived as an assistance service to help European citizens with their doubts about their specific conditions, rights, obligations, costs, and so on, before signing a contract with a bank (or concerning an already signed contract that casts some new doubts, in the presence of a change of conditions). Thus, our project contributes to the aim of both objectives: It improves the quality of professional training on EU banking, putting the university students in contact with real consults of EU banking users on real financial products, while at the same time enhances the financial civic skills of those EU citizens who pose the consults. Thus, by providing an independent and free tool, our project will contribute either in solving current problems and in preventing future not adequate (or even fraudulent) investments of EU citizens and households.

 

The third stage of the project is a bank office simulator. It is oriented to University students, specifically to students enrolled in those modules with an specific content on banking in their syllabus. As a first step, the simulator would be modular, flexible and expandable to different types of banking products that eventually appear in the financing market. The simulator will include all the documents and processes that the product may require in a real case study. For current accounts, it will include a contract model/template with several possible options, the opening process, operations and liquidation. For mortgages, it will include a contract model/template with several possible options, such as repayment structure, changes of existing conditions (advance repayment to reduce the periodic instalments or the final date, either on the instalments date or in between; fixed/variable rate options; mortgage novation). In subsequent steps, more products can be added, such as credit accounts, leasing contracts, investment, swaps, and so on. This is a powerful training tool to reach the first objective as both University students and young professionals can use the EU-Bank simulator to improve their knowledge of EU banking. As for target groups, our project concerns specific EU related subjects in studies which have limited exposure to but are increasingly affected by European aspects. On the one hand, banking is in process to be unified across the EU regulation and supervision, which will be performed by the European Central Bank (ECB) in substitution of the central bank in each country. On the other hand, a need to increase the financial culture and skills of EU citizens has been widely detected. Both factors make of the students of the EU Banking system a priority target group.

TEAM

Our team of professionals

F. Javier Castaño

Associate Professor in Finance and Accounting

Dr. Castaño is Associate Professor in Finance and Accounting at the University of León. His teaching activity is mainly focused on Financial Management and Banking. He is the promoter and coordinator of GIDEF, group of didactic innovation in financial education of the University of León. He also has extensive professional experience as Financial Manager and Consultant on finance, accounting and tax. His current research activity is devoted to business failure.

Carmen F. Cuesta

Associate Professor in Finance and Accounting

Dr. Fernandez Cuesta is PhD in Economics and Business Administration and Master in Taxation Technician from the Oviedo University (Spain). Full Professor of the León University (Spain), teaching and research collaborator of various Europe and America universities, professional bodies and companies. She has participated in the drafting of all mandatory and voluntary Spanish standards on environmental accounting, which have been prepared by the ICAC, AECA and AENOR entities

Alexis Gutiérrez Fernández

PhD student in Production Engineering and Computing program 

Graduated in Computer Engineering from the University of León in 2016. PhD student in Production Engineering and Computing program at the same university and member of the Robotics Group. Currently working on Retos project named "Desarrollo de sistemas para la caracterización de infraestructuras ferroviarias mediante imagen Lidar (CIFIL)".

Vicente Matellán

Associate Professor in Computers Architecture and Technology 

Vicente Matellán earned his PhD in Computer Science at the Technical University of Madrid. He was Assistant Professor at Carlos III de Madrid (Spain) (1993-1999). Associate Professor at Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (URJC - Madrid, Spain) from 1999-2008. In 2008 he joined ULE, where he was the Director of the IT facilities at Universidad de León (2008-2016). Since 2017 he is the CEO of the Fundación Centro de Supercomputación de Castilla y León, the regional High Performance Computing Center of Castilla y León (Spain). 

Dr. Matellán has got proven skills managing IT projects. He was the Director of IT Facilities at University of León from May 2008 till May 2016. During this period, he fostered the integration of the Universidad de León into the EU university ecosystem. For instance, he prompted the use of a unified EU-wide user e-authentication system (STORK, INFSO-ICT-PSP-224993) in the university; joined the effort to implement a web-based tool for grade conversion available to all European HEIs (EGRACONS, 527554-LLP); and encouraged staff members of the IT Facilities to participate in several Erasmus mobility efforts.

He has also experience relevant to the financial aspects of the project. He led the project of integration of an intelligent ID card for students and personnel of the university which provides both financial and university services in collaboration with a local bank, and pilot projects of micro-payments from mobile phones in the university. Finally, as university scholar, he has 25 years of teaching and research experience in several public and private universities in Spain and abroad.

Maria T. Tascón

Associate Professor in Finance and Accounting

Dr Tascón is Associate Professor in Finance and Accounting at the University of León. Her teaching activity is focused on Business Valuation, Financial Risk Management, and International Financial  Management. She is member of GIDEF, group of didactic innovation in financial education of the University of León. Her current research activity is devoted to business valuation, business failure, market-based accounting research, and capital structure.

Cristina Gutiérrez López

Associate Professor in Finance and Accounting

Dr Gutiérrez-López is PhD in Economics and Business Administration. She is Associate Professor in Accounting at the University of León. Her teaching activity is focused on Financial Accounting, Management Accounting, Accounting in Financial and Insurance Companies, and European Economy. Her current research activity is devoted to regulation, solvency and risk management in the financial sector.

Miguel Ángel Conde

Associate Professor in Computers Architecture and Technology 

Miguel Ángel Conde holds a PhD in Computer Science (2012, University of Salamanca). From 2002 to 2004 he was working in educational environment teaching in several courses related to computers. In 2004 he decided to begin working on software development environments and he worked for GPM, a web development and multimedia company. In 2005 he began working for Clay Formación Internacional R&D department where he was involved in different eLearning projects. From 2010 to 2012 he was researching at the University of Salamanca and also working there as a teacher. During 2013 he worked in the Informatics and Communications Service of the University of León and as assistant lecturer in that university. Now he works as an assistant professor at the University of León. He is a member of the Robotics research group of the University of León and GRIAL research group of the University of Salamanca. His PhD thesis is focused on the merging of informal, non-formal and formal environments. He has published more than 100 papers about different topics such as eLearning, Service Oriented Architectures, Learning Analytics, Mobile Learning, Human-Computer Interaction, Educational Robotics, etc.

Paula Castro

Assistant Professor in Finance and Accounting

Paula Castro is Bachelor in Business Sciences and Master in Actuarial and Financial Sciences; Interuniversity Master of Research in Business; Master in Finance. She is Assistant Professor in the University of León, teaching the following subjects: risk management, corporate finance, and banking management.

Razvan Raducu

Student

Razvan Raducu is a Computer Engineer, graduated from University of León. He is currently studying Master's degree in Research in Cybersecurity at University of León.

Camino Fernández Llamas

Associate Professor in Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence

Dr. Fernández has wide experience in developing web tools. In particular, she has been the IT responsible of the ULe-Bank financial calculator developed at Universidad de León and used for financial education of both university, and pre-university students (http://ulebank.unileon.es). This tool is the seed of the EU-Bank project, and will be extended to illustrate the benefits of the single European market for financial services. Dr. Fernández is the academic coordinator of this project. She has coordinated and participated in twenty European and national research projects in her twenty-two years of experience after getting a degree in Computer Science, a master degree in Knowledge Engineering and a PhD by the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. She has been part (2010-2014) of the National Agency for Quality Assessment and Accreditation of Spain (ANECA) whose mission is to promote quality assurance (QA) in the system of higher education in Spain contributing to the consolidation of the European Higher Education Area and accountability to society. Finally, she has also long experience as scholar in several Spanish universities, and also as visitor in European and American universities

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November 2019
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