THE FINANSER: Yesterday the UK’s Financial Inclusion Commission published their report on Financial Inclusion for the UK. Here’s the summary of the report.
OUR VISION FOR 2020
The Financial Inclusion Commission wants to see a financially inclusive United Kingdom in which every adult and child can enjoy decent financial health. We want financial services that are accessible, easy to use and meet people’s needs over their lifetime. We want people to have the skills and motivation to use financial services, and to benefit meaningfully from them.
This means a United Kingdom in which:
- every adult is connected to the banking system, through having access to – and the ability to make full use of – a transactional account of his or her own;
- every adult has access when necessary and appropriate to affordable credit from responsible lenders;
- every adult is encouraged and enabled to save, even in small or irregular amounts, to show the importance of a common savings culture, to build up resilience against financial shocks and as an additional resource for retirement;
- every adult has access to the right insurance cover for his or her needs, at a fair price;
- every adult has access to objective and understandable advice on credit, debt, savings and pensions, delivered via the channel most suited to that individual;
- every adult and child receives the financial education he or she needs, starting in primary school and carrying on throughout life and into retirement; and
- government, regulators, the financial services industry and civil society all work together to deliver this vision, before the General Election in 2020, under the leadership of a Minister for Financial Health.
THE REALITY IN 2015
Political parties are understandably focused on the state of the public finances. But the Financial Inclusion Commission’s work has highlighted the vulnerability of private finances and the lack of resilience in the system. This ought to be a major political concern given the big disruptive factors that are emerging, such as welfare and pension reform and interest rate rises. Financial inclusion should be a higher public policy priority. We need more leadership and coordination at national level.