NEWS: Economic Secretary - financial services are at the heart of an inclusive society

May 25, 2016

Speaking at the launch of the FCA’s Occasional Paper on access to financial services yesterday, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Harriett Baldwin MP set out the government’s ongoing  commitment to ensuring people and business have access to the financial services they need to reach their goals in life. She welcomed the paper and highlighted the importance of government, industry, and regulators working together to make progress on this issue.

The Economic Secretary said:

“It doesn’t matter who you are. Where you live. What stage of life you’re at. How healthy you are. Or what background you come from. Every single one of us needs [financial services] to help us manage our money and achieve our life goals as well as to withstand the inevitable challenge.”

Speaking on the FCA’s report, the Economic Secretary said:

“ Often, it is those who are most vulnerable, or most disadvantaged, who are most in need of support. That is why this paper on access to financial services is so important […] we have to keep up our efforts to make sure that everybody can access the financial services we all need.”

The Economic Secretary concluded by saying:

“Whether you are in Government, the regulator or the industry, what we all want is for everyone to have access to the financial products and services that help us throughout our lives. Achieving that won’t be easy – but with a combination of industry support, regulatory prompting, civil society engagement and technology, there is way to continue to progress. It will take close collaboration between all of us. But if we get it right, it will make a real difference to millions of lives and show that financial services are at the heart of an inclusive society.”

Other speakers at the half day conference which was held at the QEII Centre included Christopher Woolard, Director of Strategy and Competition at the FCA; Ann Cairns, President of International Markets at MasterCard and Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, Chair of the Financial Inclusion Commission. 

We are also grateful to all those who joined us as panellists: George Kerevan MP, Treasury Select Committee; Martin Lewis, MoneySavingExpert; Eric Leenders, British Bankers Association; James Bridge, Association of British Insurers; Annette Lovell, Financial Ombudsman Service; Jonquil Lowe, Open University; Nick Williams, Lloyds Banking Group; Jane Vass, Age UK; Keith Saxton, TechUK; Steve Webb, Royal London; Otto Thoreson, NEST; Leonora Miles, Macmillan; Olivia Randell, Barclays; Aneesh Varma, AIRE; Jo Hill, Linda Woodall, Simon Green and Rob Gruppetta, Financial Conduct Authority; and Chris Pond, Martin Coppack, Professor Sharon Collard and Laurie Edmans, Financial Inclusion Commission.

A copy of the report can be found here