NEWSLETTER: Financial Inclusion Commission Update July 2017

July 27, 2017

This newsletter provides an update on recent activity and developments in which the Financial Inclusion Commission has been engaged.
 
If you would like the Commission to support or publicise an event or project you are hosting, please feel free to contact us.

Keep in touch:
Our website can be found at: www.financialinclusioncommission.org.uk
Follow us on Twitter at: www.twitter.com/ukfinclusion
Email us at: commission@ukfinclusion.org.uk
 
Political and regulatory update
The Commission was delighted to see the appointment of a Minister for Financial Inclusion and congratulates Guy Opperman MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary for Pensions on his new role. 

Read our statement here
  
Party Conference 2017
We are delighted to be partnering with Prospect at this year's Labour and Conservative Party Conferences. Details are:

  • Labour Party Conference - 18.00, Tuesday 26 September, The Grand, Brighton
  • Conservative Party Conference - 19.30, Monday 3 October, Midland Hotel, Manchester 
Additionally, Commissioners are keen to partner this year with organisations with stakeholder organisations for events during Party Conference. If you would like one of our Commissioners to appear on a panel event you are organising, please do contact commission@ukfinclusion.org.uk

FinTech for FinInc - Roundtable with Level 39
In what we hope is the first in a series, we held a roundtable discussion with FinTech providers to explore how new technology could help reach out to those left outside the financial system. In a roundtable discussion, chaired by the Commission’s Chair Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, some innovative approaches to reach those left outside the system by conventional financial services were described. Vice Chair Chris Pond wrote about the discussion here

With a new Minister for Financial Inclusion in place, the Government is looking for ways to encourage innovation to extend access to financial services. Both NESTA, which is organising a competition to encourage FinTechs to help small firms, and TechCityUK, which is helping to organise a similar competition on financial inclusion initiatives, were represented at the Financial Inclusion Commission/Level 39 Roundtable event. Those interested in submitting entries should contact Greg Michel at TechCityUK  (greg@techcityuk.com).

In the meantime, the Commission and Level 39 are discussing a follow-up event in the Autumn to give the partnership between the technical innovators and those concerned with exclusion further momentum. Watch this space.

Access to Insurance
Following the Occasional Paper on 'Access to Financial Services' which the FCA launched with the Financial Inclusion Commission back in May 2016, they have now opened a consultation on travel insurance. It seeks views on the challenges firms face in providing travel insurance for consumers who have, or have had cancer, and the reasoning for pricing differentiations in quoted premiums. The deadline for comments is 15 September and all details are here

Separately, with the support of the FCA Consumer Insight Unit, the Financial Inclusion Commission is launching a project to identify the background to and reasons for real problems with access to affordable house insurance and to seek possible solutions for it. A call for evidence will be published in the coming days. 

Community news
It has been a busy period for the financial inclusion community with some important reports published exploring elements of financial inclusion. 
  • Macmillan Cancer Support published In the Balance which looks at the banking sector's progress in supporting people with cancer and what more needs to be done to ensure that people get the support they need. They blogged about it here
  • National Aids Trust published HIV and Finance highlighting that people living with HIV continue to face barriers to accessing insurance, despite improvements in availability over the past decade. The Trust blogged about it here
  • Money and Mental Health Institute published Fintech for good, a new report exploring the opportunity, challenge and risks of the use of financial technology and how it can support people experiencing mental health problems. Read about it here
In parliament, Lord Holmes tabled a parliamentary debate in the House of Lords on the role of FinTech in fighting financial exclusion. He wrote about it here. Elsewhere, Commissioners Lords Stevenson and Kirkwood have been busy with the Financial Guidance and Claims Bill which is making its way through the House of Lords. 

The Commission regularly participates in round tables 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

Dates for the diary
  • Financial Inclusion Commission meeting: Wednesday 13 September
  • Close of FCA Access to Insurance Consultation: Friday 15 September 
  • Financial Inclusion Commission reception at Labour Party Conference: Tuesday 26 September
  • Financial Inclusion Commission reception at Conservative Party Conference: Monday 2 October