Making financial inclusion a top political priority in the UK


Financial exclusion remains a significant challenge for 21st century Britain which prides itself on being a global leader in financial services. 


of adults or 14 million people have experienced a direct negative effect on their income due to the coronavirus pandemic (as of May 2020)

12.5 million

UK adults have little or no confidence in their ability to manage money


of all adults in the UK have less than £100 in savings

1 in 5

adults would not be able to cover more than one month of living expenses if they lost their source of income

1 million

people in the UK do not have a bank account


are borrowing to pay for essentials because they have run out of money


We are an independent body of experts from financial services, businesses, the charity sector, academia and parliamentarians from all major parties.

We want a financially inclusive UK where financial services are accessible, easy to use and meet people’s needs over their lifetime, and where everyone has the skills and motivation to use them.

We provide leadership to improve the state of the nation’s financial wellbeing, championing financial inclusion as a public policy priority for public bodies, businesses, and civil society and challenge exclusion wherever it occurs.

We convene, understand and influence through assembling a coalition for change, gathering evidence, and creating and championing practical policies to achieve change.

About us




Commission responds to HM Treasury’s Cash Access Policy Statement

The Financial Inclusion Commission welcomes the HM Treasury’s Cash Access Policy Statement announced on Friday 18 August. This is a positive move to safeguard access to cash and vulnerable cash users. We welcome the three key commitments in the policy statement that:

  1. no one should have to travel more than 1 mile in urban areas or 3 miles in rural areas to access cash
  2. “reasonable provision” should be free to use and does not include fee-charging ATMs or other pay-to-use services
  3. a new access to cash solution should be put in place no later than when a significant closure or change takes place.

However, the Government must go further than simply protecting customers’ access to cash. Greater steps must be taken to enhance access to banking services more broadly, such as protecting face-to-face banking and introducing inclusive digital banking services that meet the needs of all. 

Digital banking platforms must offer product features that mimic the key attributes of cash, which support effective household financial management, including full transparency and control through true Real Time Balances and flexible recurring push payments, such as Request to Pay. 

However, until digital financial services meet the needs of those persistent cash-users who use cash to avoid financial distress, the Government must protect both access to and acceptance of cash for individuals who would be financially disadvantaged without it.

We particularly welcome the statement that the financial services sector should ensure that customers’ access to cash is not affected by a significant closure, such as that of a bank branch, Post Office or ATM. We fully support the introduction of community banking hubs as part of the solution to a changing financial services market, but the current roll out speed is far too slow and does not meet this test. We therefore call on the financial services sector to significantly speed up the roll out of community banking hubs and other solutions for cash withdrawals and deposits. 

Finally, the Commission urge the Government to incorporate their Cash Access Policy within a National Financial Inclusion Strategy that supports the Levelling Up agenda. The Government must urgently address the growing gap in financial wellbeing and resilience in the UK through a strategy, which drives the supply of accessible and inclusive banking, insurance and savings products and services, and addresses the failure of digital financial products to accommodate cash-dependent customers.

Lord Mayor Financial Literacy and Inclusion Summit (April 2023)

The Commission was delighted to have been invited by the Lord Mayor of London to participate in his Financial Literacy and Inclusion Summit on Wednesday 12 April. 

Commissioner John Godfrey delivered a speech to provide the audience with an overview of the business case for financial inclusion before joining our panel, chaired by President of the Commission, Sir Brian Pomeroy. You can find his full speech here.

Our panellists, Commissioner Danielle Treharne, UK Small Business Commissioner Liz Barclay and LINK CEO John Howells, shared their arguments and insights of a wide range of topics including digital inclusion, small businesses, access to cash, FinTech and the gender pensions gap. The panel made the case that financial exclusion is not just an issue for government to tackle, but for industry too. 

The Commission would like to extend its thanks to the Lord Mayor and his team for organising the event, as well as, those in attendance for their brilliant questions.

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