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House of Lords publishes report on tackling financial exclusion

The House of Lords Select Committee on Financial Exclusion has just published their report, “Tackling financial exclusion: A country that works for everyone?”

In developing their Report, the Committee took oral and written evidence from a range of stakeholders, including Housing Rights. In our evidence, we highlighted the importance of financial capability training (for both tenants and landlords) and access to affordable credit in combating financial exclusion, and highlighted the significant negative potential of Welfare Reform.

Recommendations to address financial exclusion

The report states that whilst the UK is at the forefront of the global finance industry, a sizable number of UK citizens lack access to basic financial services and are forced into paying a “poverty premium” for basic goods and services.

The Committee find this unacceptable and makes 22 recommendations that aim to address financial exclusion.

These recommendations include:

  • The appointment of a Minister for Financial Inclusion, responsible for leading a Government strategy on improving financial inclusion
  • Expanding the FCA’s statutory remit to include promoting financial inclusion, and empowering the FCA to require banks and finance providers to meet a reasonable duty of care towards customers
  • Adding financial education to the primary school curriculum
  • The expansion of online and mobile banking services for older people
  • Introduction of a wider range of “control options” for customers with mental health problems
  • Introducing Regulations to limit and manage the impact of unmanaged overdrafts
  • Abolish the 7-day waiting period for the 1st payment of Universal Credit
  • Allow twice-monthly payments of Universal Credit in England and Wales (this is already available in Northern Ireland)
  • Allow tenants in England and Wales to decide whether their Universal Credit housing element should be paid direct to landlord (this is also already available in Northern Ireland)
  • A detailed and comprehensive impact study, carried out by the Government, of the impact of the Welfare Reform Act 2012 on financial wellbeing and inclusion

Conference from Housing Rights and Supporting Communities

Housing Rights and Supporting communities have come together to offer a 1 day conference that will look at addressing financial exclusion as part of a larger conference looking at how to meet the challenges of welfare reform.

Thinking outside the box - equipping staff and empowering tenants to meet the challenges of welfare reform will be happening in the Skainos Centre on Tuesday the 9 May.

The conference will be split into 3 main areas.

  • Addressing financial exclusion
  • Promoting digital inclusion
  • Supporting tenant empowerment

Confirmed to speak so far:

  • Douglas White - Carnegie UK trust
  • Paul Kelly - Community Gateway England
  • Melanie Lavin - 1625 Independent People

This event will be particularly important for all those involved in social housing as well as advice agencies and local government. Social housing tenants and residents groups are particularly welcome to attend.

There is 10% off all bookings made before 7 April. Delegate Rate is £90 (£100 after 7 April) and tenant rate is £45 (£50 after 7 April). Book online or email frances@housingrights.org.uk

Tagged In

Money Matters, Outside NI, Equality, Affordability


Stephen Orme