Financial Inclusion: Improving the Financial Health of the Nation

Examining the level of financial inclusion in the United Kingdom

This report evaluates the financial inclusion landscape in the United Kingdom (UK) and provides recommendations to develop a financially inclusive UK where every adult and child can enjoy decent financial health. It states that nearly two million adults do not have a bank account and about 8.8 million citizens in the country are over-indebted. The report also highlights the main challenges in furthering financial inclusion which include the lack of a national financial inclusion strategy, lack of financial resilience, irrelevant and unaffordable insurance products, and the need for better financial skills. It provides a number of recommendations to solve these challenges including:

  • Designate a senior minister as the government lead on financial inclusion, and financial capability;
  • Ensure payment mechanisms are responsive to the needs of all consumers;
  • Promote greater consistency and accessibility in identity requirements for opening a bank account;
  • Enable the use of public sector and non-traditional data in credit scoring, with safeguards, to make access to financial services easier for excluded groups;
  • Promote a more coherent approach to customer-focused debt advice through better coordination and clear regulatory guidance;
  • Provide financial skills training from primary school through to retirement, including at key life stages and events.

About this Publication

By Agar, J.