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Financial inclusion: A tough challenge in tough times

Financial Inclusion blog.jpgBroadening financial inclusion requires sustained and focused effort from industry working together with government regulators and consumer groups 

It is easy to talk a good game on financial inclusion. The insurance and long-term savings industry has long played an essential role in helping people protect their livelihood and prepare for a financially secure future. And we can point to fantastic examples of how the industry has worked together, often with government and regulators, to address financial inclusion challenges. Our award winning #PensionAttention campaigns, calling for consumers to assess their savings needs, and the industry-government partnership to set up Flood Re, which ensures those living in high-flood risk areas can access insurance up to 2039, are just two examples. 

But at a time when the cost of living has increased significantly with rising inflation, access to appropriate and affordable products is simply not a reality for many. Fair 4 All Finance has highlighted the challenges facing 17.5million financially vulnerable people in the UK and research commissioned by Fair by Design has evidenced the additional challenges faced by those on low incomes. 

And so the need for practical action has never felt more acute. Rather than talk about what we have done, together with our members, we want to face into the current challenges, working together with consumer groups, government and regulators to identify effective, pragmatic and sustainable solutions. 

ABI_FIS_Cover_1080x1080.jpgWe have published a new Financial Inclusion Strategy not to start or end our work on financial inclusion but to formalise the work we are already doing, to lean into public policy discussions, where collaboration is critical for practical action, and to focus our own efforts where we can seek to drive change with our members. 

Our strategy commits to understanding the issues and convening the right people, working with the members of our Consumers Advisory Group, government and regulators. It aims to amplify the impact of our existing work and the resources available from others – such as Plain Numbers and Fairer Finance, Fair 4 All Finance and FLIC, to name a few. And it focuses industry-wide effort in three tangible areas that can improve inclusion: the affordability of motor insurance, the impact of ill health on financial security and the pensions advice gap.  

We’ve shown industry can work together to tackle financial inclusion challenges. But we want to show that addressing those challenges are not one-and-done efforts - and cannot be done by industry alone. Instead, it requires sustained and focused effort, working between industry, government, regulators and consumer groups, to drive practical and effective change that broadens financial inclusion across society.  

Last updated 26/04/2024