NEWSLETTER: Financial Inclusion Commission Update June 2016

June 30, 2016

This newsletter provides an update on recent activity and developments in which the Financial Inclusion Commission has been engaged.

Since our last update, the Commission held the launch event of a new FCA Occasional Paper on Access to Financial Services, in a half-day conference with a range of stakeholders attending and participating, including a keynote speech from Harriet Baldwin MP, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury.

In May, the Commission met to discuss how best to continue in its principle strategic priority of raising the profile of financial exclusion on the public policy agenda. Since our last update Commissioners have been busy promoting the Commission at conferences, and representing the Commission at stakeholder meetings.

We will be hosting a fringe event at the Conservative Party Conference at Birmingham International Convention Centre, 17.45-19.00 on Monday 3 October. Invitations will be issued shortly.

If you would like the Commission to appear at your conference event please email commission@ukfinclusion.org.uk  

Overview of activity 

Access to Financial Services Conference, in association with the FCA Tuesday 24 May, 8:30am- 12.30pm

The Financial Inclusion Commission and Financial Conduct Authority, hosted an event to launch an FCA Occasional Paper on Access to Financial Services, at a half day conference on 24th May 2016. Building on the success of its consumer vulnerability work programme and Occasional Paper on that topic, the new FCA paper examines three broad areas consumers face when accessing financial services: Digitisation, and the changing nature of the consumer landscape in financial services, Access to insurance and pensions, which delved into the problems faced by individuals in an ever-changing insurance environment, and Verification in banking, which looks at the barriers faced by consumers within the financial system in the ever-changing world context of the KYC environment.

The Conference was a full-house event, with keynote speeches from a range of speakers from across politics, industry and consumer groups. In particular, we were delighted that the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, who delivered a speech welcoming the FCA paper. In her speech the Secretary outlined her commitment to fostering a culture of access in the financial services. We would like to thank all speakers and contributors for making the day such a success, and hope that the event acts as a catalyst for conversation and activity.

Commission meeting

The Commission last met on 4 May 2016 to discuss activity and its ongoing strategic priorities. The session focused on forward planning for our events, as well as an update on our engagement programme. We were delighted to welcome Katie Schmuecker from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, as a guest speaker in the first half of the session. Katie’s focus was JRF’s proposed strategy to tackle poverty in the UK, which is due to be published later in 2016. The Commission welcomed Katie’s commitment to financial inclusion within the strategy, given its role as a key enabler in the fight against poverty. Commissioners look forward to working with the Joseph Roundtree Foundation in 2016.

External engagement overview

The Commission has been busy meeting with representatives from across politics, stakeholder groups and industry, as well as speaking at conferences and events. The Commission met with Richard Burgon MP to introduce the Commission’s work. Commissioners have also been in contact with the office of Sadiq Khan, following his victory as Mayor of London in May. The Commission continues to engage with stakeholders across the political spectrum on the importance of the issue.
 

House of Lords Financial Exclusion Committee

The House of Lords Ad-Hoc Committee on Financial Exclusion is now well and truly underway. The Committee is being chaired by Baroness Tyler of Enfield, and Commissioner Lord Archy Kirkwood is also sitting on the committee. Other Commissioners including Sian Williams and Sharon Collard have presented to the Committee on their findings in informal sessions ahead of the evidence taking phase. The Financial Inclusion Commission is particularly interested in how the new inquiry can build upon our work, and recommend tangible and actionable policy points to enhance financial inclusion in the UK. We look forward to supporting the Committee in the months to come. A call for evidence is due to be issued in due course.  
 

Dates for the diary

  • 5 July 2016 - Lords Financial Exclusion Committee Oral Evidence Session, 10.30, Room 2A
  • 12 July 2016 - Financial Inclusion Commission Meeting
  • 3 October 2016 – Financial Inclusion Commission Fringe at Conservative Party Conference, 17.45-19.30, Monday 3 October

If there are any upcoming events with a financial inclusion relevance which you would like to publicise, feel free to email details to: commission@ukfinclusion.org.uk