The Report

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The Financial Inclusion Commission’s report, Financial Inclusion: Improving the financial health of the nation, brings together the evidence the Commission has gathered from around the country. It identifies the progress made toward financial inclusion as well as the significant gaps that remain and the challenges ahead. The report also sets out a vision for a financially inclusive society and makes recommendations on what steps need to be taken to make this a reality.

You can download the report here.

Our Recommendations

  1. Designate a senior minister as the government lead on financial inclusion, and financial capability, with the title of 'Minister for Financial Health'
  2. Establish a Ministerial champion for financial inclusion in each interested Department and in all devolved administrations
  3. Establish an independent, expert group to report to the Minister for Financial Health on emerging issues and on progress toward financial inclusion, similar to the Financial Inclusion Taskforce
  4. Place a statutory duty on the Financial Conduct Authority to promote financial inclusion as one of its core objectives
  5. Establish an independent, industry-funded think tank to work with consumer groups, tackle regulatory challenges and facilitate innovation in the interests of financially excluded consumers
  6. The Competition and Markets Authority to promote transparent pricing as part of its investigation into retail banking
  7. The new Payment Systems Regulator to ensure Direct Debits and Faster Payments are accessible to small organisations and new entrants
  8. Regulators to ensure payment mechanisms are responsive to the needs of all consumers
  9. The Department for Work and Pensions to promote inclusive alternatives to the Post Office Card Account to support the introduction of Universal Credit, which meet the new basic bank account industry standard agreed by HM Treasury, including electronic payment facilities
  10. The Financial Conduct Authority to promote greater consistency and accessibility in identity requirements for opening a bank account, and the Cabinet Office to continue to work with industry to deliver a world-leading digital identity that supports financial inclusion
  11. Government to enable the use of public sector and non-traditional data incredit scoring, with safeguards, to make access to financial services easier for excluded groups
  12. Government to lead a collective effort with retail banks and others to promote wider data disclosure and to fill the low income credit gap which has been widened by departing payday lenders
  13. Promote measures to make community finance institutions more sustainable, such as government lifting the APR cap on credit unions, lenders and investors developing a better understanding of business models and risk, and community lenders attracting a wider customer base
  14. Adapt Scotland’s Debt Arrangement Scheme for the whole United Kingdom, with frozen interest, reduced arrangement fees, more breathing space, reduced time on the credit file and the offer of financial skills training
  15. Promote a more coherent approach to customer-focused debt advice through better coordination and clear regulatory guidance
  16. Rebalance government subsidies for savers to ensure everyone is encouraged to save, introduce auto-enrolment for workplace savings schemes and conduct a feasibility study into which savings models work best for people on low incomes
  17. Government to conduct a robust evaluation of ‘Pension Wise’ to ensure that everyone has access to an affordable, objective service that is fit for purpose
  18. The Department for Work and Pensions to work with the industry to deliver a Swedish-style pensions dashboard to help people understand the prospective real value of their consolidated public, private and occupational pension income
  19. The Financial Conduct Authority, using its proposed new financial inclusion objective, to ensure that risk profiles, premiums and refusals of cover in the personal insurance market are based on accurate information
  20. The Treasury to lead a debate on suitable and affordable protection for consumers unable to obtain personal insurance through the market
  21. Provide financial skills training from primary school through to retirement, including at key life stages and events, and covering cultural as well as technical aspects of money management
  22. Develop a robust, outcomes-based evaluation of how to improve financial capability, with resources to enable it, developed with industry, government, consumer groups and civil society, and coordinated by a reformed Money Advice Service