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 has met with Ministers and Officials from HM Government as part of our external engagement programme. We hosted a successful roundtable on “Access to Insurance” in conjunction with Scope, the Disability Charity. We were also delighted to support the launch of new research by Christians Against Poverty’s (CAP) on the importance of debt advice entitled The freedom report.
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Political and regulatory update:
Commissioners have met with Ministers and Officials to impress upon them the relevance of financial inclusion to the Government’s Inclusive Economy agenda. Our message is clear, combating financial exclusion is key to ensuring that country does truly “work for everyone”, and we hope that in 2017, the Government will take leadership on tackling financial exclusion, and build on the work in which it is already engaged to protect vulnerable consumers and those facing financial access issues.
Financial Exclusion Committee Inquiry
In addition to our own engagement, the Commission has been closely following and supporting where possible the work of the Financial Exclusion Committee, as part of its ongoing inquiry into Financial Exclusion and Access to Financial Services.
We noted recent evidence sessions featuring representatives from the Government, including the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Simon Kirby MP, Minister of State for Welfare Reform, Lord Freud, and Education Minister Nick Gibb MP. In particular, we welcomed the direct questions from the committee based on our oral and written evidence, and we look forward to recommendations the committee will make in 2017, based on a successful year of evidence gathering.
Overview of activity
Access to Insurance Roundtable Event in Conjunction with Scope
The Commission was delighted to host a roundtable event featuring representatives from the insurance industry, the third sector, industry groups and officials from government, to come together to discuss practical and commercially viable solutions to problems faced by vulnerable consumers when accessing insurance. Commissioner Laurie Edmans chaired the discussion, which was organised by Scope, the disability charity, and supported by the Commission. The Commission will now take forward the recommendations from the event and undertake a further research project
Christians Against Poverty Event- Launch of The freedom report
We were delighted to support an event to launch new research by CAP on The freedom report. Exploring the long-term outcomes of over 200 clients who have become debt free with CAP’s help, the report draws comparisons between clients who were granted Debt Relief Orders (DRO) and clients repaying their debts through a Debt Management Plan (DMP). The launch event in Parliament was sponsored by Commissioner George Kerevan MP who gave introductory remarks. Sir Brian Pomeroy and Sian Williams also made speeches on behalf of the Commission. For more information about the report, visit our website for a guest blog post from Cap which can be found here.
Supporting Money Advice Service’s Annual Financial Capability Week November 2017
We were delighted to support Financial Capability Week 2017. Commissioners Chris Pond and Sian Williams participated in the MAS FinCap Conference, which reviewed the Financial Capability Strategy ‘one year on’. Sian Williams chaired the event, whilst Chris Pond gave final remarks and reflections on our recent work and the importance of government leadership.
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Dates for the diary
Financial Inclusion Commission meeting: Thursday 19 January 2017, 09.00-11.00