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6 June 2022

Please find the official FCA press release here.

Speaker: Sheldon Mills, Executive Director, Consumers and Competition
Event: Financial Inclusion Virtual Summit 2022
Delivered: 31 May 2022
Note: this is the speech as drafted and may differ from the delivered version

Highlights

  • Rising costs are impacting consumers and business and could create new challenges for financial inclusion.
  • Regulation plays an important role in driving financial inclusion and improving outcomes for individuals and communities.
  • Financial inclusion is a complex issue that requires strong partnerships and collaboration across government, regulators, industry, and other organisations to address.

According to the Inclusion Foundation, one in four adults in the UK will experience financial exclusion at least once in their lives.

As of 2020, 13.4 million people in the UK are on relative low incomes, 10.7 million adults had low financial resilience and 24 million demonstrated one or more characteristics of vulnerability. These consumers are more likely to experience financial exclusion.

The Covid-19 pandemic and the current cost-of-living crisis have thrown into stark relief the importance of basic financial services to households up and down the country.

Imagine coping in the depths of lockdown with no access to a bank account. You can’t get essential groceries as the nearest shop is only accepting card payments. You can’t access the alternative options online. You keep your money in the house in the biscuit tin, with value being eroded by inflation. Someone breaks into your home when you are out for your daily walk and the money is gone – and you don’t have insurance.

Financial regulation has an important role to play in driving financial inclusion.

But financial regulation cannot tackle financial exclusion or the related ‘poverty premium’ alone. We must work together across government, regulators, industry and consumer groups…

To continue reading, please find the official FCA press release here.

By David Petty

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