HM Treasury

Financial services

Financial inclusion

The importance of financial services in all of our lives has, in recent years, risen significantly. This is a consequence of both a growing and more prosperous United Kingdom economy, and an innovative financial services sector, which has developed ever more ways of meeting the needs of its customers. Exclusion from the financial system brings with it, therefore, real and rising costs, often borne by those who can least afford them, which is why promoting financial inclusion has been, and continues to be, a key priority for the Government.

To ensure that as few people as possible have to bear these costs, the Government has taken responsibility for developing a strategic policy response, working with key stakeholders from the financial services industry, the third sector, and elsewhere. The Government’s key goals for financial inclusion are about ensuring that everyone has access to appropriate financial services, enabling them to:

The Government’s action plan for financial inclusion, Financial inclusion: an action plan for 2008-11, sets out in detail how the Government will use the £130 million Financial Inclusion Fund, announced in the CSR, to achieve its financial inclusion objectives over the next three-year spending period from April 2008 to March 2011.

Financial Inclusion - the way forward

This action plan builds on Financial Inclusion - the way forward, which sets out the policy framework for financial inclusion in 2008-11, including:

Promoting Financial Inclusion

The Government's first financial inclusion strategy, Promoting financial inclusion, was published in December 2004. This:

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