New Lords Committee on financial Exclusion to Open Enquiry

The House of Lords Committee on Financial Exclusion will tomorrow hold its first evidence session with witnesses from the Money Advice Trust, MyBnk and Young Enterprise.

The Committee have been tasked with holding an inquiry into financial exclusion – an issue affecting people who encounter difficulties accessing or using the mainstream financial services that are necessary to participate in daily economic life and society. Approximately 1.5 million people do not have access to a bank account and many people lack confidence in financial matters – 40 percent of respondents to a recent study felt they were not in control of their finances and were not financially prepared.

Some of the issues the Committee are likely to explore include the relationship between financial exclusion and other forms of deprivation, the effectiveness of Government policy on reducing financial exclusion and approaches to developing and enhancing financial capability.

The inquiry will start on Tuesday 5 July with evidence sessions in Committee Room 2A of the House of Lords. The Committee will take evidence from:

10:40am      Joanna Elson, Chief Executive, Money Advice Trust

11:40am      Guy Rigden, Chief Executive, MyBnk

Russell Winnard, Head of Programme and Services (Financial Education), Young Enterprise

In the first session the Committee will explore the causes and effects of financial exclusion, the provision of support to help individuals to develop financial capability and the possible impact on financial exclusion of the introduction of Universal Credit.

The second session will include questions on the needs of young people in terms of financial education, the capacity of schools to deliver personal financial education and how financial literacy in the UK can be improved.

Commenting ahead of the sessions Baroness Tyler of Enfield, Chairman of the Committee, said:

Our inquiry will seek to get to the bottom of the challenging issue of financial exclusion. Figures suggest around 1.5 million people do not have access to a bank account and we want to understand the impact and effects of that. The issue is not limited solely to bank account access, however, and financial exclusion is a persistent problem that has proved a significant challenge for Governments over a number of years. We want to find out how it can be tackled.

The evidence sessions on the 5th July which open our inquiry will allow us to explore what is being done to help people take control of their own finances and how financial education in schools can deliver results.

In the coming weeks we will be working on agreeing a Call for Evidence which will be published before the summer recess. At that point we will be asking anyone with an interest or experience in this issue to send us their evidence which will be crucial in informing our inquiry.”

Author: Dylan Jones

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