The House of Lords Committee on Financial Exclusion has today published its call for evidence and is asking interested parties to submit their evidence by 14 September.
The Committee has been set-up to consider financial exclusion, which results in people having difficulty accessing or using the mainstream financial services that are necessary to participate in daily economic life and society.
Commenting on the launch of the inquiry Baroness Tyler of Enfield, who chairs the Committee, said:
“Financial exclusion affects a large number of people in the UK, with estimates that 1.5 million people do not have access to a bank account and up to 40% of the population stating they did not feel in control of their finances. These are worrying numbers and this is an issue successive government have found difficult to tackle.
“Our inquiry will attempt to find a way forward. We will look at the role banks and others in the financial services industry can play in helping those who are currently excluded and we will examine the role of charities, Government and regulators. We will also look at the quality of financial education in the UK. Are we doing enough to ensure that children, young people and adults understand their finances and know where to seek help if they need it?
“For our inquiry to be effective we need to hear as many views and experiences as possible. Written evidence will play an important role in informing our work and I would encourage anyone with knowledge, or an interest in this area, to return a submission by 14 September.”
Some of the questions the Committee are inviting written evidence on include:
- Who is affected by financial exclusion? Do different sectors of society experience financial exclusion in different ways? To what extent, and how, does financial exclusion affect those living in isolated or remote communities?
- What is the relationship between financial exclusion and other forms of exclusion, disadvantage or deprivation? What role does problem debt play in financial exclusion?
- Are there appropriate education and advisory services, including in schools, for young people and adults? If not, how might they be improved?
- How can financial literacy and capability be maintained and developed over the course of a person’s lifetime?
- What role should the concept of ‘personal responsibility’ play in addressing financial exclusion? Is appropriate support available for the most excluded in society and, if not, how should support be strengthened? What role should Government, the charitable sector and business play in tackling financial exclusion?
- What has been the impact of recent changes to the consumer credit market – such as the capping of payday loans – on those facing financial exclusion? How can it be ensured that those in need of affordable credit can access appropriate products or services?
- How effective has Government policy been in reducing and preventing financial exclusion? Does the Government have a leadership role to play in addressing exclusion?
- What has been the impact of recent welfare reforms on financial exclusion?
- How effectively are policies on financial exclusion coordinated across central Government? Is there an appropriate balance and interaction between the work of central Government and the work of local and regional authorities, and the devolved administrations?
- Does the Government have a role to play in ensuring that the development of financial technologies (FinTech) and data capture helps to address financial exclusion? If so, what should this role be?