Developing A Vision For Financial Inclusion

Kempson, Elaine and Collard, Sharon (2012). Developing A Vision For Financial Inclusion. Friends Provident Foundation, Dorking.

URL: http://www.bris.ac.uk/geography/research/pfrc/them...

Abstract

This study reviews the UK's progress towards financial inclusion, and develops an evidence-based vision for achieving financial inclusion over a ten-year timeframe. The Personal Finance Research Centre, in close collaboration with Friends Provident Foundation, conducted the research.

Financial inclusion policy and practice has come a long way since Policy Action Team 14's landmark report in 1999. Other countries, in Europe and elsewhere, continue to look to the UK as a leader in this field. We cannot afford to be complacent, however. Financial exclusion remains an issue in the UK for a sizeable minority of people, worst affecting those on low incomes who may also be vulnerable in other ways.

Financial services are an essential part of everyday life. People who face difficulties accessing and using financial services experience real detriment - in terms of the monetary costs of financial exclusion, but also the social and psychological costs of feeling excluded from mainstream society.

People need financial services that enable them to manage day-to-day financial transactions, such as receiving income, paying bills and buying goods. In addition there are a number of different needs that financially excluded people may have to deal with periodically. The first of these is the need to meet one-off expenses that can be anticipated, such as family holidays and Christmas expenses. The second relates to less predictable expenses or events, such as burglary or white goods breaking down. Finally, there is a need to be able to manage financially following the loss of an earned income, for example through ill health, job loss, or on retirement.

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