In September 2016, the Portsmouth Business School (University of Portsmouth, UK) and the Center for Research in Contemporary Finance (Fordham University, USA) organized an international conference on Banking and Finance. The program included nearly 200 presentations, and plenary speeches by prominent scholars. After a rigorous double‐blind review process, eight high quality papers were accepted for inclusion in this special issue of Financial Markets, Institutions & Instruments. We discuss these studies briefly below. The first three studies examine various aspects of the mortgage market. The fourth study also focuses on tangible asset backed loans, although the application of the proposed framework is not limited to mortgages. The fifth and sixth study deal with information asymmetry in stock markets. The last two papers focus on bank risk.