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HM Treasury

Financial services

Financial Inclusion Taskforce

The Financial Inclusion Taskforce is an independent body appointed to advise HM Treasury and to monitor and evaluate progress on its financial inclusion goals, as detailed in the Terms of Reference. All Taskforce members serve in a personal capacity, and on a voluntary basis.

Financial Inclusion

Many people, particularly those living on low incomes, cannot access mainstream financial products such as bank accounts and low cost loans. This financial exclusion imposes real costs on individuals and their families - often the most vulnerable people in our society. It also has costs for the communities in which they live.

Households that operate solely on a cash budget: are unable to make savings via direct debits on utility bills, are more vulnerable to loss or theft and they are far more likely to use the alternative credit market - and pay interest many times that of a standard personal loan, often contributing to spiralling debt. In addition, for those who do get into debt or who struggle to make payments, the supply of free face-to-face money advice falls far short of demand.

The Government set out its strategy to tackle financial exclusion in ‘Promoting financial inclusion’, published alongside the 2004 Pre-Budget Report. The report sets out a range of measures - in three priority areas - access to banking, access to affordable credit, and access to free face to-face money advice.

The Government also established a framework for delivery - including a Financial Inclusion Fund of £120m over three years and a Financial Inclusion Taskforce, chaired by Brian Pomeroy to oversee progress. The Financial Inclusion Taskforce was formally launched on 21st February 2005 and will monitor progress on the objectives the Government has set out and will make recommendations on what more needs to be done.

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