The Financial Inclusion Commission (FIC) a cross-party campaigning body of Members of Parliament, Peers, social policy leaders and industry experts, has warmly welcomed a new report from the House of Lords Financial Exclusion Committee, published today.
This report is about building a financial system that works for everyone. It is based on evidence from stakeholders across the country in government, financial services and civil society, to assess the current state of financial exclusion in the UK. It makes important recommendations on how it can be tackled.
The Commission is pleased that the Committee agrees that the Government should appoint a Minister for Financial Inclusion, supported by adequate resources and a clear strategy from Government. This view is shared by stakeholders across the spectrum. It was recommended by the Commission in its own enquiry, held in 2015.
The Commission also supports the Lords’ recommendations that Government should provide an annual report of the progress made towards addressing financial exclusion, which should be presented to Parliament as a Command Paper.
In addition, the report recommends that the Financial Services and Markets Act 2014 should be amended to ensure the FCA creates rules for financial services providers to exercise a reasonable duty of care towards their customers.
The report also highlights the paucity of financial education, in particular the recommendation that financial education should be added to the Primary School curriculum in English schools. This is an important step to enhancing financial resilience across the generations.
These legislative changes would make significant improvements to the financial health of the nation. In addition to these specific recommendations, we hope that Government takes stock of the wealth of evidence contained within the report, and the many recommendations and conclusions it has drawn.
Sir Sherard Cowper Coles, Chair of the Financial Inclusion Commission said:
“The Financial Inclusion Commission calls on Government to implement fully the recommendations from the House of Lords Financial Exclusion Committee, as part of its commitment to building a country that works for everyone.
For too many, unnecessary barriers still remain when accessing financial products and services such as bank accounts, insurance or affordable credit. It is important that we overcome these, in particular by enhancing the nation’s financial capability.
Clear and coordinated government leadership to tackle financial exclusion would improve the lives of millions of people.”
Click here for a link to the report.