NEWSLETTER: Financial Inclusion Commission Update - February 2017

February 28, 2017

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 representatives from HMRC, and has responded to the Public Financial Guidance Consultation on the future of the Money Advice Service.

If you would like the Commission to support or publicise an event or project you are hosting, please feel free to contact us. 

Political and regulatory update

Commissioners continue to meet and engage with high level political stakeholders to impress  upon them the importance of financial inclusion to a fairer society, and a “country that works for everyone”. In addition to our regular stakeholder engagement with Ministers and parliamentarians, since our last update the Commission has met with Edward Troup, Executive Chair & Permanent Secretary at HMRC. HMRC is keen to work with the Commission on tackling financial exclusion barriers within the tax system.

Engagement regarding the future of the Money Advice Service

The Commission responded to HMT’s recently published consultation on Public Financial Guidance, which sought views on the plan to create a single guidance body for debt and pensions advice. The announcement of a unified body was welcomed by the Commission and we have since communicated views on the successor body to DWP directly. Our response to the consultation can be found here.                              

Financial Exclusion Committee Inquiry
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 await the publication of the Committee report (due in March 2017) and hope the inquiry will place front and centre the recommendations made by members of the Commission, and recommend that the government show leadership and coordination in the fight against financial exclusion.

National AIDS Trust advisory group on access to financial products for people living with HIV
Commissioner Laurie Edmans has joined a National AIDS Trust advisory group on financial exclusion, which is currently focused on the availability of personal insurance (with a focus on life insurance and income protection) to people who have been diagnosed with HIV. The Commission is delighted to support this group and provide expertise where necessary to tackle the very important issue of financial exclusion for those with HIV.

Commission Thought Leadership 2017
New research which is being supported by the Commission is currently being finalised. Entitled “A new approach to improving access to low cost credit”, the new research will examine innovative approaches to the use of data to improve credit scoring outcomes for consumers with thin credit files. The research is due for release in March 2017.

The Commission regularly participates in roundtables and panels in the hope of working in partnership with stakeholder organisations to further debate. If you would like to discuss Commission involvement in any projects you are currently working on, please email: commission@ukfinclusion.org.uk

Upcoming Events 

Centre for Social Justice & StepChange Debt Charity Roundtable Thursday 2 March
The Commission has been invited to participate in a roundtable on serious personal debt with Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Jane Ellison MP, who is also due to speak at the event. Alongside the Minister, the event will be attended by a number of senior officials and advisers from the Treasury, Department for Work and Pensions and Number 10, providing an excellent opportunity for a rich and productive discussion. The Commission is delighted to support and participate in this event.

Launch of Christians Against Poverty Life Skills – Tuesday 7 March- 16:00-17.30
Following an 18-month pilot Christians Against Poverty (CAP) is launching a brand new service, which takes an in-depth and holistic approach to improving financial capability. A launch is taking place in Parliament to mark the event. To register for your place please contact Rachel Gregory at CAP on  rachelgregory@capuk.org

Dates for the diary

  • CSJ Roundtable: Thursday 2 March- 14.30
  • CAP Life Skills Event: Tuesday 7 March- 16:00-17.30
  • Spring Budget: Wednesday 8 March, 12.30-2.30
  • Financial Inclusion Commission meeting: Thursday 23 March